This cautionary tale was written by a Slush Pile moderator!
"Talk about being out of one's depth..."
(1 July 2002, Canada) The population of Thunder Bay, a beautiful city
located on the shores of Lake Superior, was decreased by one Darwin Award
candidate over the long Canada Day weekend. The story takes place on Obonga
Lake, 100 miles north of Thunder Bay.
The holiday weekend was a scorcher, with temperatures in the high 90's. Our
candidate went for a cooling boat ride with his wife and children, but the
cool breeze did not suffice, so he turned off the motor and dove into the
Diving in Canada's northern lakes is risky. During the summer, a thin
surface layer of warmer water covers the colder depths. Diving into one of
these thermoclines can result in paralysis when you hit the cold water a
few feet below the surface. But that's not what happened to our diver.
His first error was more basic: He was unable to swim, and wasn't wearing a
life jacket, the logical attire of a boating non-swimmer.
His second error was neglecting to consider the effect of the wind, which
was not only pushing the boat away from him, but also foiling efforts to
throw him a life preserver, which is buoyant in water, and necessarily
And his third error was in not teaching his wife to pilot the boat, so she
was unable to start the engine, drive over, and rescue him.
The people in the boat waved their arms towards shore in a vain bid for
help -- and that's where the Darwin candidate's fourth and final error
became significant. He had neglected to provide his boat with the required
boating safety kit, containing a 15 meter buoyant line, an approved
Personal Flotation Device for each person on board, and a loud signaling
device such as a pea-less whistle.
While one's heart goes out to his wife and children, the rest of us would
have seen it coming when he dove in. Although he already had several
children, he certainly won't be adding any more tadpoles to the gene pool.
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Submitted by: dmr
Reference: Thunder Bay Chronicle Journal