Friday, June 11, 2010

Elusive Record

Over 2 months ago I posted an article entitled Hunting for a Record. In it I raised the scenario of my daughter wanting to perform a tightrope act across tall buildings for the sake of setting a record. I expressed my opinion that I would not allow my daughter to do it because of the risks involved.

I then went on to discuss the subject matter of the post, i.e. that of Abby Sunderland, the 16-year old girl who was in the process of trying to set a record as the youngest person ever to sail around the word solo. Having once cheated death at the open sea, there is always that fear of the sea in me. I can still remember the 10-foot wave that eventually caused a fractured rib; and the excrutiating pain I had to endure for several hours in a race against time to reach land.

After I posted "Hunting for a Record", I had some interesting debates with some friends via emails. Some of my readers agreed with me, while others were in favour of pursuing one's dreams in spite of the risks involved!

Well, I am a very adventurous person too, and I'd like to try out new adventures and challenges. But I am always careful not to get too carried away with the idea to the extent of ignoring the risks involved. I am fully aware that there are risks in practically everything we do, but what's the odds of things going wrong in the open sea?

I have been at sea before, so I can relate a bit of my experience. The thing about the open sea is that if there is an emergency where there is a race against time, the odds would probably be against you, because it would usually take a very long time for help to arrive. If for example someone suffers a heart attack at sea, he would probably die long before getting back to land.

In my case, where I suffered a fractured rib, I was later told by a doctor that I could've died out there. Had the rib been broken and the sharp edge punctured my lung, I could've drown in my own body fluid. So it's no laughing matter! When it happened to me, the waves were just about 10 feet tall.

Yesterday, Abby Sunderland sent out distress signal from the Indian Ocean, reportedly in a storm of 50ft to 60ft seas and winds up to 60knots. The nearest vessel was about 400 miles away and would not be able to reach her until almost 2 days. Because of that kind of sea condition, it's quite possible that Abby might be injured. She may still survive the ordeal, of course. But then again, she may not.

Abby is living her dream in the Indian Ocean, and if she is still alive, I wonder what is going through her mind right now. If she is dead, I really hope it was worth it. But her family would certainly get their few days' worth of fame anyway...


Cornelius said...

Ah! Good news! Abby is alive! It's the end of her attempt for the record though (her vessel had lost its mast). Nothing's more important that staying alive, I'd say the hell with the record!

Anonymous said...

Brave young woman!