Fancy swim­ming in a hur­ri­cane? No thanks

The Kerryman (North Kerry) - - OPINION - With Deb­o­rah Cole­man

HUR­RI­CANE sea­son - is that a thing in Ire­land? It seems that now it is and given the im­pact of global warm­ing, we, un­for­tu­nately could be faced with th­ese ex­treme con­di­tions on a more reg­u­lar ba­sis.

We have just got­ten over the drama sur­round­ing Hur­ri­cane Ophe­lia fol­lowed by Storm Brian a cou­ple of days later but it seems that some Ir­ish peo­ple still don’t pay any at­ten­tion to weather warn­ings. Yes, it is our de­fault set­ting to look on the bright side, joke and make light of th­ese sit­u­a­tions but there was a cer­tain in­fer­ence from many that the Govern­ment, tak­ing their lead from Met Eire­ann were blow­ing it out of all pro­por­tion.

This could not have been fur­ther from the truth and it was down to their ster­ling ef­forts to im­press the se­ri­ous­ness of the sit­u­a­tion, that more lives were not lost.

Trag­i­cally, three peo­ple died - three too many. While many were jok­ing that it Ophe­lia was not an ac­tual hur­ri­cane and that the panic party was a step to far - there could have been many more ca­su­al­ties such was the fe­roc­ity of Ophe­lia.

We like to find the hu­mour in things and of course there is no harm in laugh­ing our way through any cri­sis - as long as we are heed­ing the ex­perts’ ad­vice and stay­ing in­doors.

One of the most un­be­liev­able sights to be­hold last week were peo­ple at­tempt­ing to swim in life-threat­en­ing sea con­di­tions or putting them­selves at risk to prove that no storm would mess with their rou­tine.

Calls have now been made for those who dis­play such ir­re­spon­si­bil­ity to face crim­i­nal charges for reck­less en­dan­ger­ment and to be hon­est, it’s not a bad idea.

While some peo­ple some­times make a bad judge­ment call, there are oth­ers who want to prove a point and be­ing a dare­devil is their way of do­ing so.

What they don’t con­sider, how­ever, is the wel­fare of the emer­gency ser­vices teams who then have to put them­selves in dan­ger to res­cue some­one who ig­nored all warn­ings and still went into the of a storm. The Ophe­lia warn­ings likened it to a weather event not seen in Ire­land for decades and in which 11 peo­ple lost their lives - how much clearer can this be?

What does it take for some peo­ple to get the mes­sage and take the ad­vice given, and have a lit­tle re­spect for those who risk their lives res­cu­ing oth­ers?

What does it take for some peo­ple to get the mes­sage and have a lit­tle re­spect for those who risk their lives res­cu­ing oth­ers?

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