Flutterby™! : On feeling like you're not a civilian

Next unread comment / Catchup all unread comments User Account Info | Logout | XML/Pilot/etc versions | Long version (with comments) | Weblog archives | Site Map | | Browse Topics

On feeling like you're not a civilian

2024-03-26 23:42:54.741789+01 by Dan Lyke 0 comments

Reposted from FB:

Everybody's linking to some aspect of the key bridge collapse today, and everyone's suddenly a bridge and shipping expert, but one thing gave me chills. So when I was a whitewater guide, the *first* thing we tell the crew in our opening speech is "if you fall out of the boat, *do* *not* stand up. The bottom of the river has lots of crevices in it, and if your foot gets caught in one of those, you can drown in a foot of water and there is nothing we can do fast enough to save you." And then we talk about the right way to swim in whitewater, and how there's never been a case of buttock entrapment.

One busy day, I may have been second boat, or just the guy on the scene, but another guide's boat lost the angle coming out of the put-in eddy spun downstream and slammed into Whiteface and pinned hard. Pulled a swimmer or two on shore, but then we had a guide and most of a boat's full of guests stranded in the middle of the river, right above the ledge, and I went running up the bank and started to wade out into the river to get on scene, and I remember slipping on a rock and thinking "crap, I hope we don't have to evac the customers out of here, because we don't want any of them walking in this."

And then I had that moment of "Oh shit. I'm walking in this. I'm standing up."

And then this moment of "but it's okay, because I'm a guide. I know better."

And then this moment of "uuhhhh. I know better. Right. Uhhhh." So, yeah, I repositioned myself, and swam out to help unstick the boat.

Among the many incidents in my teens and twenties where I slowly learned I was not, in fact, a superhero, that's one of them.

So I was listening to the police radio of the response to the out of control boat, and heard the one officer say "Once you get here I'll go grab the workers on the Key bridge, and then stop the outer loop."

And, of course, I knew what was coming, but holy shit, that feeling of "these people are in danger, I'm going to stabilize the situation", without thinking through the consequence.

I'm sad for the loss of life. In listening to the radio traffic I was relieved that the immediately following transmission was that the bridge just fell down, and the officer did not, in fact, get on the bridge. And that what sounded like him in the subsequent transmission wasn't completely freaked out.

But, yeah. Mad props to the dude doin' his job.

Anyway, #GiftArticle to the WaPo on the bridge collapse, that includes the recording. https://wapo.st/3VyBEAK

[ related topics: Nostalgia Interactive Drama Law Law Enforcement Heinlein Sports Pop Culture Boats Machinery Douglas Adams Whitewater ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

Add your own comment:

(If anyone ever actually uses Webmention/indie-action to post here, please email me)

Format with:

(You should probably use "Text" mode: URLs will be mostly recognized and linked, _underscore quoted_ text is looked up in a glossary, _underscore quoted_ (http://xyz.pdq) becomes a link, without the link in the parenthesis it becomes a <cite> tag. All <cite>ed text will point to the Flutterby knowledge base. Two enters (ie: a blank line) gets you a new paragraph, special treatment for paragraphs that are manually indented or start with "#" (as in "#include" or "#!/usr/bin/perl"), "/* " or ">" (as in a quoted message) or look like lists, or within a paragraph you can use a number of HTML tags:

p, img, br, hr, a, sub, sup, tt, i, b, h1, h2, h3, h4, h5, h6, cite, em, strong, code, samp, kbd, pre, blockquote, address, ol, dl, ul, dt, dd, li, dir, menu, table, tr, td, th

Comment policy

We will not edit your comments. However, we may delete your comments, or cause them to be hidden behind another link, if we feel they detract from the conversation. Commercial plugs are fine, if they are relevant to the conversation, and if you don't try to pretend to be a consumer. Annoying endorsements will be deleted if you're lucky, if you're not a whole bunch of people smarter and more articulate than you will ridicule you, and we will leave such ridicule in place.

Flutterby™ is a trademark claimed by

Dan Lyke
for the web publications at www.flutterby.com and www.flutterby.net.