Posted by: thormiller | February 3, 2009

Winter responsibility

It seems that every winter in Oregon, someone is pulled out to sea while surfing. The culprits are rip currents, but where does the responsibility lie when often the surfers pulled out are inexperienced, or young?

Surf shops need to make money, and especially in these trying economic times, a buck is a buck. But when the surf is heavy, and the rips are, well ripping, should the shops collect their $20 rental fee and put someone’s life at risk?

Everyone who has surfed knows the risks — there are sharks, rip currents, other surfers and very cold water to deal with. When you enter into surfing as a past time, way of life, or just something to try one time you assume these risks. But when a 13-year-old girl is pulled out to sea and needs to be rescued because she’s exhausted, cold and probably scared to death, shouldn’t someone step in and say, “maybe today isn’t the best day to learn.” Not to say that the parents shouldn’t be held responsible for their children, but plenty of adults get pulled out to sea every year and many of them rented their equipment.

Again, the shops need to make money, especially in the beach towns of Oregon who depend on tourism for their very livelyhood since the logging dollars have dried up. It just seems to me that warning inexperienced surfers during the winter of the danger of rip currents is the responsible thing to do and that human life is worth more than a $20 rental fee.

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