Take this letter for instance:-
Andrew Dickinson (letters Feb 16) applauds the efforts of missing kayaker Andrew McAuley to paddle to New Zealand. For a married man with a small son to attempt such a journey against police advice and endanger his own life and those who attempted to find him can only be described as irresponsible. Mr Dickinson needs to take a reality check.
I wonder what qualifications Mr bloody Michael Scott of South Hobart has that makes him feel qualified to even comment on the matter. I personally have paddled across Bass Strait 4 times in a kayak, I have lost count of the times I have paddled a kayak round the south coast of Tasmania to Maatsuyker Island and Port Davey. I feel that I probably have qualifications to comment about Andrew's attempt. Maybe Mr bloody Michael Scott of South Hobart would like to give us his qualifications.
No doubt if he had been alive at the time he would have railed against Bourke and Wills as being irresponsible, or Robert Scott - obviously another irresponsible adventurer who was not thinking about his family. History is full of these people - some survive, some don't. What do these people mean by going off and attempting to do something that hasn't been done before? Plainly irresponsible.
And it is probably lucky that Hillary didn't seek the Tasmanian police for advice before he climbed Mt Everest - the cry would have been, "don't do it Edmund, we implore you not to do it - it is dangerous"
I wonder if Mr bloody Michael Scott of South Hobart knows that the Tasmanian Police took Andrew's kayak to the Derwent River near the Queens Domain in Hobart and tested it. Within the Search and Rescue Dept of the Tasmanian Police there is a very very experienced kayaker - this kayaker/policeman put a wetsuit on and got into the kayak and tested its self righting ability. After he finished testing his comments were "I don't have any problems with it".
Quite a few years ago an attempt was made to paddle a kayak to New Zealand - but they (it was a double) were refused permission to launch the kayak. They went back to New Zealand without getting the kayak wet. Not only did the police OK this trip of Andrew's, but so did the Hobart Marine Board. It was so authorised that two members of Australian Customs travelled down to Fortescue Bay on a Saturday morning to stamp his passport before he left.
I wonder what Mr bloody Michael Scott of South Hobart does for "Reality" - watch Survivors on TV? I generally find that people who feel they have to write to the papers about matters they know nothing about are generally very inadequate people. Do their wives gaze at them with worshipping eyes in the confines of their lounge rooms and say "that was a masterful letter you wrote."????
And I really don't think it is even worth commenting on Doug Conway
of Sydney, who as part of a large article about "adventurers" said this:-
Does it really matter if you are the first man to swim the English Channel, the first woman to cycle across the Nullarbor, or the first high-schooler to base jump from Sydney Tower? What does it prove?
What a sad little man. Maybe the writer is another candidate for the Mr Inadequate, 2007.
Of course you may think that these inadequate people annoy me. Not really - you get used to them, and feel sorry for them. For instance this was a letter to the editor way back in Feb 1982:-
Curbing the Reckless
Last week we read about two canoeists being rescued, at great cost to the public, and this week about another one attempting to cross Bass Strait in a canoe.I suggest that these "adventurers" be required to lodge an amount of about $50,000 a head as security to cover search and rescue expenses. If their trip is successful the money would be refunded. This will not stop these crazy trips. But it will ensure that only the safest and best prepared are embarked upon.
At least this bloke didn't wait till I was dead and then make a cowardly attack upon me when I couldn't defend myself.
Crazy trips???? Bass Strait crossings are now all the go since then, probably twenty paddlers every summer - and in fact they are almost getting to be so old hat that paddlers are looking to extend themselves even further - like New Zealand maybe?????
Of course newspaper editors love all this stuff. They love bad news
- it sells newspapers. They love controversy - it sells newspapers. You
rarely seem to see much good news reported. When I was the first person
to ever paddle a kayak from Tasmania to Victoria, in 1982, this appeared
in the paper:-
A Hobart man who arrived at Tidal River at Wilson's Promontory on Sunday, after successfully crossing Bass Strait in a canoe, plans to paddle back to Tasmania.
Laurie Ford (43) paddled his 6 metre fibreglass canoe from Musselroe Bay, north of St Helens across Bass Strait, stopping off at all the islands along the way. The only emergency equipment he carried on his week long trip was a two way radio.
And that was it. When I got back to Tasmania I got about the same couple of lines of publicity. I went into the newspaper and asked them if they were interested in the story. The editor said "did anything happen?" I said "no, I just paddled across, and paddled back." "Oh well it's hardly news then".
The cost of Rescues?? Just recently there have been fatalities in the very sheltered protected bay right down in front of where I live. Just a few days ago, on Feb 13 the article says:- Search goes on for lost fisherman. The search for a recreational fisherman missing off the Tasman Peninsula entered its fourth day yesterday..........
The cost of rescues???? Surely Mr bloody Michael Scott of South Hobart, in conjunction with the Tasmanian police could get up a vigilante group and man every boat ramp in Tasmania and stop all these reckless people, who have no concern for their families, going out in little boats doing something that is quite often fatal - fishing. Maybe Mr Darling of Burnie could get a law passed in Parliament that requires all recreational fisherman to post a $50,000 bond before launching their little "tin" boats.
God preserve us from these inadequate people.