Stay safe on and off the water this August long weekend

Conversation in the Expositor offices this past Monday reflected on summers past and the all too common tragedies that have marred the summer’s fun. The longest serving member of the paper’s crew recalled one incredible season when there were more than 20 drownings in and around the region. While that was certainly an anomaly of tragic proportions, each summer provides far too many opportunities to top that terrible record.

The loss of a friend or family member sends ripples of pain out into the community and impacts so many people—to have that pain generated through a momentary lack of attention or good sense just adds to the intensity of the impact.

Familiarity breeds contempt, an unfortunate reality of human consciousness known well to the likes of Chaucer, from whom we get the modern quote, but the concept extends far back into antiquity. Getting away with a risky behaviour tends toward repeating those risks, leading inevitably to unfortunate consequences and all-too-often those engaging in those behaviours have most of their lives stretching out before them.

Accidents happen even when precautions are taken and close attention is being paid, but whether an accident was the result of purest chance or pushing things too close to the line, it is the loved ones, family members and friends, who usually wind up suffering the emotional consequences of those actions, too many of which could so easily have been avoided.

As the August long weekend is upon us, there will be so many opportunities to have fun and enjoy events with family and friends. We at The Expositor implore you to keep your wits about you and play safe. Tragedy impacts us all, even those who stand and report are shaken by the aftermath of accidents and acts of violence.

There will doubtless be a significant amount of imbibing going on this weekend and it is important to remember that one of the first things that goes out the window when a person becomes intoxicated is a person’s judgement. Keep that in mind and listen to that muffled voice of reason telling you not to get into your car after drinking, not to get into your boat while intoxicated, refrain from scaling cliffs or walls, don’t drink and swim, especially alone.

This weekend is a time of great times with family and friends, don’t turn into a time of anguish and mourning.

Have fun this weekend, enjoy your friends and family, and certainly take time to meet and make new friends, stay safe and stear clear of risky behaviour.