OUR VIEW: Take nothing for granted

Danger is inherent in our vast outdoor playground

It always takes a tragedy to hit home safety lessons and if there’s anything to be taken from the loss of the life of a visitor to Elk Falls Monday, it’s that we need to be careful when we’re enjoying our natural environment.

Grant Cromer of Campbell River Search and Rescue stated the bleak facts that tragic occurrences happen all too often because people don’t realize the potential danger. As a community, we were lucky that a group of young people did not lose their lives earlier this summer inner tubing down the river. The warning was put out then by CRSAR that there are inherent dangers in enjoying our great outdoors.

Monday’s accident shows you can’t take anything for granted, even a seemingly benign situation like the flat rocks around the Campbell River above Elk Falls. The tragedy of accidents is that you can’t predict when they’re going to happen. They occur because circumstances were unforseen due to a plethora of reasons: unfamiliarity with the place, recklessness or what have you.

Cromer said Monday’s accident is a stark reminder to the public on the dangers of playing around water: “You have no control over water, water will control you, if it’s not the current, it’s the temperature or hazards in the water, and you are at its mercy. Swift moving water with a waterfall like in this case is a worst case scenario; there is no way to recover from a fall in fast moving water above a waterfall. Keeping well back from the edges and using only dedicated viewing platforms and trails is essential for personal safety.”

It’s sad that one family will forever associate Campbell River with unspeakable loss and our condolences go out to those people. There’s no blame to ascribe, things happen, we just all have to keep the dangers in mind when we venture into natural areas.