Wednesday, September 5, 2012
Living on the knife edge isn’t about doing crazy things or throwing yourself into the unknown willy-nilly. It’s about taking manageable risks and experiencing everything life can offer. The key phrase is manageable risk. It’s different for everyone.
Take Daniel Samuelsen.
ABC news reports he fell into a tunnel, near the mouth of Parleys Canyon and broke his leg during a hike on Wednesday morning and spent four days and three nights trapped in a drainage tunnel.
His cell phone died or was broken in the fall so no 911 call ("Excuse me operator, but I fell in a tunnel and broke a leg. Could you send someone to rescue me?") to get the troops moving.
He wasn’t able to attract the attention of any of the passers-by, but the acoustics of banging a rock inside a buried pipe can be daunting.
After four days without any food or water, he decided he would have to self-rescue if he wanted to survive. The news media has confusing reports at this point in the saga. He either made a splint and crawled out of the tunnel or got out and then splinted his leg.
Once he got out he was able to find someone who could help him.
Daniel made some mistakes and he may still lose his leg over them. He didn’t apparently tell anyone who cared enough where he was going so they could look for him when he didn’t come home or into work. His biggest mistake may have been to delay self-rescue!
He didn’t take any useful survival equipment, not a pack of crackers, not even the Yuppie Canteen, the plastic water bottle.
Okay, I don’t think you need to gear up with three days of rations and a three-season sleeping bag to walk through the local metro park, but depending on your cell phone to save your butt following an accident is stupid.
Telling anyone you’d be back in three hours should have them thinking about what happened to you after a day has gone by. Even leaving a note in the front windshield of your car about your hike could make a difference. Surely, packing a shoulder bag, or stuffing a pocket with a mini-thermo blanket, carrying a button light and a power bar isn’t too much of anchor to Dullsville?
I bet Daniel wishes he’d taken a whistle.
I am reminded of what my co-worker Stan once said: “Maybe your purpose on earth is to show someone what not to do.”
Don’t be that person.