Monday, 5 March 2007

Horrendous weather - and 3 deaths

I have already referred to the awful weather we endured yesterday (Sunday). The elements contributed to the sad deaths of 3 people over the day, a man, a woman and a teenage girl. The couple were washed off the sea wall at Mullion Cove on Cornwall's Lizard, their bodies were recovered by helicopter and they were pronounced dead at the Royal Cornwall Hospital. The other incident occurred on Dartmoor when a teenage girl on a training expedition for the Ten Tors Challenge in May slipped into the Walla Brook near Watern Tor on the northern moor. She was with a group of other youngsters from Edgehill College at Bideford. She was flown to Plymouth's Derriford Hospital in a very poorly state and tragically died during the night.

Although the weather was appalling it is too easy to say that the team from Bideford shouldn't have been out there. (It should be said that there were many other teams of teenagers out on the moor either training for the Ten Tors or progressing the Duke of Edingburgh award scheme) The thing is that there is an incredibly fine line between a close shave with death and death itself and until we hear details of the circumstances I won't make a judgment. No doubt in my mind that it's good for today's youth to take on challenges but was this a challenge too far? I believe this is the first fatality either in the Ten Tors or in the training leading up to it.

As to the couple swept away by the waves sadly this is not an isolated instance in Cornwall. My own advice is to work out the closest distance you can be from the breakers and then multiply that distance by 20 say. Definitely do not walk on any form of sea wall in those conditions. The waves and the sea generally are so variable in nature and hit with such incredible force, people just don't understand.

I now hear that another persons body has been washed up near Padstow. All in all not nice news to report.

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