Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Deadly Waters

A volunteer searcher scans the shoreline for the remains of a drowning victim.
When I started this little blog I never thought I would use this media as a forum for a public service announcement. However it dawned on me that the primary reason folks visit Peggy’s Cove, Nova Scotia, is to marvel at its rugged beauty and take photographs – millions upon millions of photographs. I too have taken my fair share of images of this tourist icon.

I am also a search and rescue volunteer who has been called to this same location in that capacity, most recently just two days ago. Yes, the beauty of Peggy’s Cove can also bring tragedy. I won’t go into any details, but let’s just say it is not much fun when the outcome is inevitable. The Atlantic Ocean is that unforgiving and does not have a conscience.

Based on my 15 years experience of sailing on King Neptune’s briny ocean from above the Arctic Circle to below the equator in waves as high as 83 feet, I fully understand the power of a single wave. It can break arms, legs, backs, and worse still, claim a life.

If I am sounding as an alarmist – good. I will not apologize.

I am begging any photographer who goes to Peggy’s Cove to use common sense. Please. Heed the signs and if that rock is black or wet, it means a wave has already been there – another is inevitable.

The warning signs are not placed to enhance beauty. Unfortunately they are not heeded.

And yes, that one single wave can sweep you off your feet, and I will receive another phone call in my volunteer capacity. None of us want that, especially your family.

So please, if you happen to be along the shoreline of not just Peggy’s Cove, but the entire Atlantic Canada coastline, please think of your future and not your picture.