Thursday 18 October 2018

Fancy swimming in a hurricane? No thanks

Deborah Coleman - Straight Talking

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?