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Sunday, October 21, 2007

Darwin Awards

Saturday was kayak race day! I volunteered my time, and boat, to do communications, logistics, and support for the event.

It was fairly uneventful. This is good. Uneventful means nothing bad happened. That is until the end of the event. More on that later.

What I was doing was simply keeping track of who was where. I tracked the kayaks on the long course - which was 12 miles. The water got really shallow in some places, and the kayaks went through motorboat exclusion zones - so I could not follow them for the whole time.

When the kayaks crossed the ICW channel, I used my boat to "block" the way. The kayaks are hard so see. So I would keep up with them as they crossed the channels. My boat is a lot more visible.

Anyway as the last kayak was finishing, and going into safe water, I hear over the radio that some people had jumped off the bridge. I was right there next to the bridge. The bridge is actually the old Rickenbacker Causeway going to Virginia Key. There used to be a draw bridge there, but the draw bridge was removed decades ago and a high span (60 something feet) was built. There is a lot of boat traffic, so the draw bridge was just not going to work. Also the new span is 4 lanes.

Anyhow the old span is still there - minus the draw bridge part - and is used as a fishing pier.

So I look and see two people in the water. They one was trying to climb up a thin rope that someone was using to keep a bait bucket tied to. The rope was maybe all of 1/8 inch - impossible to climb. And then someone else jumped into the water and started to swim away.

So what the hell is going on here?

Meanwhile, Spider Man has decided he can not climb the rope, so he is now holding onto three thin ropes and people on the bridge are trying to pull him up.

Oh yea, there is a current flowing under the bridge, pulling the people away from the bridge. The water is 8 - 12 feet deep.

So I position my boat under the bridge to see just what the hell is the major malfunction. It turns out they all jumped in "for fun". For fun? OK. Whatever.

I ask if they want to be taken to the beach. One guy (Spider Man) climbs on. The other guy insists on not using the swim platform, climbing up the hard way. The current takes my boat into a piling. No damage is done - but now I am getting fed up. I can not engage the engine because the fucking moron in the water could get chopped up. Meanwhile the idiot is not using the swim platform to get in.

Anyhow, both geniuses manage to get in. So I head out against the current and head to the nearby public beach.

And I find two more people. They are swimming from piling to piling, stopping at each one to rest. But the current is pushing them against the piles.

Barnacles and shit are growing on those things. It is very easy to get cut up.

So I ask them if they want to get in. They say "no, we are going to swim in".

OK enough of this bullshit. I tell them that there is a current that WILL pull them away from the bridge. Nobody is wearing a PFD. They are swimming near things with sharp edges. They can either get in the boat, or get carried away from the bridge by the current. The tide was changing and the current was only going to get stronger. They had to decide to get in or not.

So they opt in. One guy climbs in - the hard way - not using the swim platform. The current is bringing me into the piles again. I can not engage the engine because of the danger from the prop. Nobody seems to understand the concept of the swim platform and swim ladder.

The 4th guy was getting worn out. He could not pull himself out of the water. The boat is now getting really close to the piles.

At this point - I had all I can take. So I tell the other 3 people in the boat to pull their buddy out NOW because the boat was going to hit the piles, and if the swimmer was pinned against the boat and the piles it could kill him. Death by drowning. At the very least, he could be seriously injured. Cut the bullshit and pull him out now.

So they did. And I put the boat in gear and powered away from the bridge again. Then I went by the beach and everyone jumped off and swam into shore. I got them into about 4 feet of water before they went in the water.

2 of them jumped in - HEADFIRST - before I could say they were only in 4 feet of water. The other two looked at me after I said the water was shallow - and dove in also.

Now at this point all I could do was wonder - maybe I should have left those guys in the water. I mean, morons are best at reproducing. They will be able to spread their defective DNA in the gene pool.

If you are going to be stupid, you have to be strong. Maybe I should have just allowed natural selection to do its thing?

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Blogger Meow (aka Connie) said...

OMG, those people sound like complete idiots ... maybe you should've left them there !!
Glad you didn't mash the boat on the piles, though.
Hope you are well.
Have a great week.
Take care, Meow

Blogger Daisy said...

What a bunch of numskulls!

Blogger Fuzz said...

A lot of people don't realize how hard it is to swim in a current like that. But then, some folks are just stupid.

Do you feel like a hero ?

Anonymous Anonymous said...

some people needs killin...if they were going to jump in "for fun" you should have left them there "for fun" because it is obvious they should not be allowed to reproduce as you said

Blogger The Lazy Iguana said...

Meow - I would have put the engine in gear before I allowed it to smack into a pile.

Daisy - I think the short bus took them to the bridge.

Fuzz - I felt like maybe I made a mistake.

Doozie - I could have waited down current. That would have been more fun.

Blogger Emma Sometimes said...

Holy crap, they just did not get how stupid and dangerous water is. HHHIDIOTS!

Blogger Cheesemeister said...

Damn...suddenly I feel like genius material!

Blogger Dusty said...

Yep..Darwin winners all. Christ, how do some folks make it to the age of consent?

Blogger Dusty said...

I forgot..your a wonderful human being for rescuing and putting up with these asshats.


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