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The loss of another young life at SLSA championships
http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/quee...328-1vyrc.html

I'm sure you've all heard of the tragic loss of another young life - a 15 year old boy this time.
Horrible and heartbreaking stuff.

As usual, there is the knee-jerk reaction call to stop the competition.

But these competitions happen every single weekend all over the country throughout summer. as a surf lifesaver myself, I know this is just the nature of the sport and the competition. The sport gets it's competition and excitement from the different surf conditions. And even in the mildest conditions, these accidents can still occur.

Should they consider only doing it in calmer conditions/other locations/ or is this just a product of the number of people in a competitive sport that involves hard equipment that can be dangerous?
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why do they keep using that beach?
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Quote:

Originally Posted by mischa21 View Post

http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/quee...328-1vyrc.html

I'm sure you've all heard of the tragic loss of another young life - a 15 year old boy this time.
Horrible and heartbreaking stuff.

As usual, there is the knee-jerk reaction call to stop the competition.

But these competitions happen every single weekend all over the country throughout summer. as a surf lifesaver myself, I know this is just the nature of the sport and the competition. The sport gets it's competition and excitement from the different surf conditions. And even in the mildest conditions, these accidents can still occur.

Should they consider only doing it in calmer conditions/other locations/ or is this just a product of the number of people in a competitive sport that involves hard equipment that can be dangerous?

I think the point was that there's been 3 deaths in comps at this single beach, that 15 year olds might be too young for this sort of stuff, and that the people making decisions are not experts who have competed at the top level.

All in all I think it's reasonable to ask questions. One competitor has said (contrary to the organisers) that the swell was pretty big and wasn't acceptable for 15 year olds to go out in.

You can't elimate risk but it appears (to the untrained eye, i.e me) that more rigour could be introduced.
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The previous deaths have been from surf boat rowers (which is a dangerous sport - especially if you're thrown from the boat). What is interesting is that they didn't let the surf boats row in the conditions. but they did let this board paddle event go ahead. I think that's where you feel a bit sick - why stop one event and not another?

The craziest thing is how no one could find his body (until this morning). Apparently everyone was in the water looking for him, they had infrared cameras on the helicopter last night, using dye to track the currents. So sad. Shows how tough the conditions must have been.

More info:

http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/q...-1226312937097

ugh I feel awful for this boy and his family. such a tragedy :
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everytime you go in the ocean there is a chance you're not going to make it out, it's a dangerous place & accidents happen

i'm assuming he hit his head k/o'd himself and then drowned, which could happen at any beach and in almost any conditions

it's called surf lifesaving for a reason and it would defeat the purpose to cancel competitions because there is a bit of surf around

if the individual in is not confident in their abilities to handle to conditions on the day, then they should not be entering the ocean - basic common sense
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Quote:

Originally Posted by BumblingBee View Post

everytime you go in the ocean there is a chance you're not going to make it out, it's a dangerous place & accidents happen

i'm assuming he hit his head k/o'd himself and then drowned, which could happen at any beach and in almost any conditions

it's called surf lifesaving for a reason and it would defeat the purpose to cancel competitions because there is a bit of surf around

if the individual in is not confident in their abilities to handle to conditions on the day, then they should not be entering the ocean - basic common sense

Yes because competitive 14 year old boys are going to say in front of all their mates "oh it looks too rough, I'm not doing it"

Body has been found, very sad.

You need senior people taking charge, not expecting the individual competitors to make a call.
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extremely sad situation

agree on the senior people taking charge and ensuring the the competitors are monitored appropriately - send them out, but make sure you have anough spotters watching ready to respond if someone is in trouble
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that's the thing - there is so much water safety around (people on boards/IRBs watching the competitors). seriously, the same accident could happen in calmer conditions. however, perhaps in calmer conditions it would have been easier to find his body - and he would have a chance at resus. however, you still only have a 5 minute window at best and chances are slim to none that people would be aware he was gone in 5 minutes.

it's seriously sad. but people are so quick to point the finger. everyone who takes part knows it's a risky sport - the death of Saxon two years ago is very much still in their minds. It's really unfortunate it's happened again, but I don't think there's anything more that could have been done.
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They should stick gps trackers on all of them and then they will know if one goes off course or just stops.
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And auto inflatable life jackets if you come off your board/boat.

Very sad. Can't imagine how it must be for parents raising an outstanding kid then losing him just as he's growing up into a young man.
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Quote:

Originally Posted by mischa21 View Post

that's the thing - there is so much water safety around (people on boards/IRBs watching the competitors). seriously, the same accident could happen in calmer conditions. however, perhaps in calmer conditions it would have been easier to find his body - and he would have a chance at resus. however, you still only have a 5 minute window at best and chances are slim to none that people would be aware he was gone in 5 minutes.

it's seriously sad. but people are so quick to point the finger. everyone who takes part knows it's a risky sport - the death of Saxon two years ago is very much still in their minds. It's really unfortunate it's happened again, but I don't think there's anything more that could have been done.

Pretty much agree. Unfortunately occasionally things like this happen and people die, and it's tragic. But we have to look at how much we'd lose if we lived in a completely risk averse society- I think we gain a hell of a lot by being able to participate in such activities and you usually find that the families of those who die in these circumstances will say that the deceased would not have want their sport shut down because of what happened.

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they should put up pool fences along all australian beaches. you are only allowed access through the pool gate if you sign a stat dec that you wont sue the government if you go in the water. and then if you do, we should have a buddy system where you can only enter the water if your hand is being held by a government representative...and only if the surf is below 3 foot. and even then only if there are no rips and only if you are going in the water for a legitimate purpose...not to have fun or just live your life.

and no crossing the road to get to the beach unless there is a lollipop man in a fluoro pink vest.


[rant over]
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I think the event co-ordinators are reluctant to cancel events for reasons of preserving the element of "toughness" required to compete in their sport. In heavy duty swell conditions then the only competitors out there should be men IMO.
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Quote:

Originally Posted by lowkeyandnude View Post

they should put up pool fences along all australian beaches. you are only allowed access through the pool gate if you sign a stat dec that you wont sue the government if you go in the water. and then if you do, we should have a buddy system where you can only enter the water if your hand is being held by a government representative...and only if the surf is below 3 foot. and even then only if there are no rips and only if you are going in the water for a legitimate purpose...not to have fun or just live your life.

and no crossing the road to get to the beach unless there is a lollipop man in a fluoro pink vest.


[rant over]

Probably the wrong place for that rant. Firstly, no-one is talking about suing anyone so not sure where that came from.

Also the talk here is about letting young boys out in bad swells in an organised event that, although based around something that can potentially be dangerous, should be also focusing on safety.

I'm the first to rail against the "nanny state" but always within limits. No-one is saying ban these comps, just look at the risks and the people.
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Quote:

Originally Posted by Dubz View Post

Probably the wrong place for that rant. Firstly, no-one is talking about suing anyone so not sure where that came from.

Also the talk here is about letting young boys out in bad swells in an organised event that, although based around something that can potentially be dangerous, should be also focusing on safety.

I'm the first to rail against the "nanny state" but always within limits. No-one is saying ban these comps, just look at the risks and the people.

five people almost died on the way to the beach
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The swell wasn't even that big or rough.....

This could of happenned in 1ft of surf, it's a pure accident.

I have surfed all my life, from 1ft to 15ft all over the world. Jet ski assisted and not. I broke my neck doing the most simple thing in surfing on a picture perfect 3 ft day. Accidents just happen.

Wearing life jackets are almost more of a hinderence in the ocean.
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Sure 'accidents happen' but surely some of these accidents can be avoided by being more wary of dangerous beaches and rips etc.

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Pretty ordinary rant. There is a track record at this beach.

When a coroner pipes up that should suggest that something hasn't been put in place properly.
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Quote:

Originally Posted by Davomaxi View Post

Sure 'accidents happen' but surely some of these accidents can be avoided by being more wary of dangerous beaches and rips etc.

the accident didn't happen because the beach was dangerous.
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Quote:

Originally Posted by Fewsion View Post

Pretty ordinary rant. There is a track record at this beach.

When a coroner pipes up that should suggest that something hasn't been put in place properly.

theres a track record at this beach because it gets used so much.
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Be that as it may, too many young lives lost at the beach. There wouldn't be a comparable sport that would tolerate the same thing happening three times in such a short space of time.
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Quote:

Originally Posted by hipswinger View Post

the accident didn't happen because the beach was dangerous.

With respect, the article here:

http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/quee...330-1w1yo.html

suggests that the conditions were rough enough to prevent a proper rescue effort after he was found unconscious.
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Quote:

Originally Posted by hipswinger View Post

The swell wasn't even that big or rough.....

This could of happenned in 1ft of surf, it's a pure accident.

I have surfed all my life, from 1ft to 15ft all over the world. Jet ski assisted and not. I broke my neck doing the most simple thing in surfing on a picture perfect 3 ft day. Accidents just happen.

Wearing life jackets are almost more of a hinderence in the ocean.

seen one of these before? It is a formalised risk assessment matrix used by industry and according to it you are WRONG
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Quote:

Originally Posted by Fewsion View Post

With respect, the article here:

http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/quee...330-1w1yo.html

suggests that the conditions were rough enough to prevent a proper rescue effort after he was found unconscious.

its 3 ft of swell, hardly rough....
but, to have a 14 yr old trying to hold another deadweighted 14 yr old is just too much. I don't accept that it were the conditions on the day that hampered the rescue attempts as people sink first no matter what the surf is like.
They pull guys out in between of 25ft waves all the time, some after being under for 2 waves over an area of 2 football fields....
Wearing wettie shorts instead of dickpokers would maybe help bouyancy enough for a successful rescue.
But your never going to prevent guys getting hit by their boards in an uncontrolled enviroment, going to softer boards would help tho even if performance dropped, rather than the hard epoxy boards they're on now.
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agree hipswinger. it's just a super unfortunate thing to have happened. the surf carnivals are on every weekend and similar things happen - it's just super unlucky to have happened at Aussies again (although it's always more likely to happen because there are more competitors) and so the call for the inquiry has begun. story has just taken on a life of its own in the media. it's fucking ridiculous.
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I am sure his family don't consider it fucking ridiculous
One of my mates is frineds with his family, I dont get the impression he thinks its ridiculous either
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Exactly jdoodle.

Mischa you can't just say that similar things happen every weekend. I think that's ludicrous.
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Quote:

Originally Posted by jdoodle View Post

I am sure his family don't consider it fucking ridiculous
One of my mates is frineds with his family, I dont get the impression he thinks its ridiculous either

I agree.
But I'm sure the family are aware of the risks involved. It's just so sad and unfortunate that these things happen.
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My point is it hasn't been the conditions that have claimed the lives, it's been the quip meant.
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Quote:

Originally Posted by hipswinger View Post

I agree.
But I'm sure the family are aware of the risks involved. It's just so sad and unfortunate that these things happen.

sure, but when it happens a few times at the same beach and the coroner makes suggestions that are ignored, then of course it is going to be news
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Quote:

Originally Posted by hipswinger View Post

My point is it hasn't been the conditions that have claimed the lives, it's been the quip meant.

Your comments are contrary to that of all the people there on the day, so I'm going to take their word over yours.
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my partner is currently there competing and everybody has competed in much worse. Clearly the comments I've heard are pretty different to the ones you must've heard Dubz. where did they come from - news.com.au?
what I’m saying is ridiculous is the way the story has taken hold and the blame has been laid before people know exactly what has happened. how can you be pointing the finger before we know what went on? Some of the comments on the SLSA facebook page are ridiculous.
The difference in how the carnival is run since Saxon died is huge – they have made big changes since then. I have been hit in the head by a wayward surfboard/paddle board many times – and I bet you every child competing has too. Luckily we’ve all survived. Very unluckily, Matthew's head was hit at the wrong point. I just don’t see how that can be avoided? Maybe using softies is the way to go for under 18s... I don’t know.

I have so much empathy and sympathy for the family - what a horrendous thing to go through. but I don't think it's at the fault of the SLSA "because of their obsession with commercialism" - a not for profit organisation.

I'll admit I have a massive bias here but I think a lot of comments are just people jumping on the bandwagon before they know their facts. The family has encouraged the competition to go ahead which just shows the great spirit of the people involved in this competition.
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Quote:

Originally Posted by Fewsion View Post

Be that as it may, too many young lives lost at the beach. There wouldn't be a comparable sport that would tolerate the same thing happening three times in such a short space of time.

close the beach, close the highway, close mango pickle down river

close petrol stations because people sniff petrol, ban chrome paint because kids chrome

people commit suicide from being bullied online. Should we close the internet?

churches are dangerous places for kids, they might get molested. Close them down as well?

Where would you like to stop fewsion, what places and things are completely safe?
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Quote:

Originally Posted by macc4 View Post

Where would you like to stop fewsion, what places and things are completely safe?

Catholic Churches.

Jesus saves!


As long as you ask him mum to let him help you anyway.
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not really relevant since this was SLS but the entire concept of "iron man" competitions is basically "fuck you nature, I'm stronger than you" so of course occasionally hubris is going to catch up to people
i know the first three numbers
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none of this has to do with bravado or mismanagement or the beach or anything other than chance. It's simply a biased statistical cluster due to the fact that this is the biggest carnival of the year.

fishing is the most dangerous sport, and many sports are so much more dangerous.

most people don't get statisitics and think there is a meaningful correlation with Kurrawa Beach. There isn't. This is just chance playing it's random hand.
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idk i think the kid's dad kinda has a point about boats being called out of the water on the day

"if it's too dangerous for boats how could it possibly be not too dangerous for 15- and 14- and 13-year-olds?"
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Quote:

Originally Posted by mischa21 View Post

I'll admit I have a massive bias here but I think a lot of comments are just people jumping on the bandwagon before they know their facts. The family has encouraged the competition to go ahead which just shows the great spirit of the people involved in this competition.

According to the article linked in the op "some senior competitors" had reservations about the conditions... The organisers are under pressure to proceed with events due to sponsorship-it's understandable, also goes to show how money fucks things up everywhere
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Quote:

Originally Posted by gonefishin View Post

According to the article linked in the op "some senior competitors" had reservations about the conditions... The organisers are under pressure to proceed with events due to sponsorship-it's understandable, also goes to show how money fucks things up everywhere

oh c'mon. It would take about 5 minutes to find someone to say that, whatever it meaans
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Quote:

Originally Posted by macc4 View Post

Where would you like to stop fewsion, what places and things are completely safe?

There are many places that are completely safe, though I'm still stumped on the things that are completely safe.

I'll get back to you.
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Great story and interview on Sunday Night. Guy grills the head of surf life saving Queensland.

And they showed footage of the beach in competition. Think ppl need to see that shit, looks insane. Those huge wooden rowboats being tossed around and into each other like rag dolls.
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a story that has got universal condemnation from members of the slsa
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Quote:

Originally Posted by hipswinger View Post

theres a track record at this beach because it gets used so much.

Like manly, freshwater and cronulla?

That argument doesn't hold well. It's down to the organisers... during nippers there was a pretty big discrepancy in what different clubs considered safe and dangerous. Some clubs were known to be cowboys and send the kids put in surf that was probably too big.

Although at the end of the day I honestly believe it is just a tragic accident. Surf life saving is a dangerous sport and unlike many (any?) Land based sports you're also again mother nature who can unleash a shit load more pain than any competitor. Which is part of the reason why people are drawn to it.
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Quote:

Originally Posted by claude glass View Post

none of this has to do with bravado or mismanagement or the beach or anything other than chance. It's simply a biased statistical cluster due to the fact that this is the biggest carnival of the year.

fishing is the most dangerous sport, and many sports are so much more dangerous.

most people don't get statisitics and think there is a meaningful correlation with Kurrawa Beach. There isn't. This is just chance playing it's random hand.

I agree - the conditions at Kurrawa are no different to other beaches - like Manly or Bondi. get more people involved in a competition and your chances of something happening are greater.

what a sensationalist piece of shit tv last night, but I'd expect nothing less from a Sunday night/ACA program.

I do think u15 could use softies perhaps.

this family seems to have a very different perspective on it though. they're not blaming SLSA.

they're dangerous sports - in unpredictable conditions.
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Bloke from Bondi Rescue, forget his other title, made out that the conditions at this beach aren't run of the mill because of the rips and tides going each way so you get waves from the front and the side.
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I know - what a joke. sooo.. basically you're telling me a guy who wasn't there has made comments on the conditions of a beach he wasn't at. nice one. as a lifesaver, rips can help you get out faster. you learn to read a beach in session one. Maroochydoore beach is no different to Kurrawa, Matt would have trained and competed in worse.

turns out a few people weren't too happy with the sunday night report: https://www.facebook.com/7sundaynight

A statement from Matt's parents ... “We have been overwhelmed by the support that we have received from friends, relatives, the surf lifesaving community at Maroochydore and elsewhere and total strangers. We also appreciate the privacy that we have been afforded.

“We are distressed at what has been reported in the media about the circumstances surrounding the accident and the organisation of the event.

“We do not believe anyone is to blame for what happened and we totally support the officials and organisers of the event.’’

Mr and Mrs Barclay said there was an element of risk every time someone went into the ocean.

“However, Matt was a young champion lifesaver and we had no concerns for his safety or the precautions in place at this event,’’ they said in the statement.

“We were more concerned about Matt being hurt playing other sports than competing at surf lifesaving carnivals.

“Surf lifesaving is a big part of our lives and it was Matt’s passion. The bigger the surf the more he loved it.

"The whole idea of surf carnivals is to allow competitors to display and harness their skills in saving lives. We want the whole of Australia to get behind surf lifesaving and help build it up, not tear it down.’’

Last edited by mischa21: 02-Apr-12 at 10:41am

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All beaches would surely have their own characteristics which occur time and again. I don't think it was an unreasonable comment from an expert.
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Quote:

Originally Posted by walkdogz View Post

Bloke from Bondi Rescue, forget his other title, made out that the conditions at this beach aren't run of the mill because of the rips and tides going each way so you get waves from the front and the side.

there is no such thing as 'run of the mill' beach conditions imo

shifting sand, variable swells and winds, tide changes all result in constantly changing conditions at any beach, nothing is ever run of the mill & it's at your own peril if you believe it is
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Originally Posted by walkdogz View Post

Great story and interview on Sunday Night. Guy grills the head of surf life saving Queensland.

cringeworthy tv, that 'reporter' what an embarrassment to journalism

i thought the sls dude handled him pretty well in the end too
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Mischa you've made exactly the same assertion without seeing the beach. I would trust the Bondi Rescue lifesavers just as much as your opinion, but he may actually know other lifesavers who work there, he may have been to that beach before, he might have heard why it was different.
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