Slice of Life Story - Risk Assessment

Avalon Beach, north of Sydney was recently in the news when a young man was severely mauled by a white pointer shark while surfing. He suffered significant injuries to his leg and was fortunate to survive.

This morning I stood on the rise overlooking this same stretch of beach with my grandson, Cooper. We watched young surfers ride their boards in those same dangerous waters. They appeared unperturbed by the recent incident. It is often the way with youth. They perceive themselves as immortal, danger-proof, shark proof. Such is their bravado that the desire to surf outweighs any potential danger. Older heads would take a more considered view of matters and err on the side of caution. Life has a way of making risk a more formidable foe. A surf patrol boat constantly cruised the waves and at one stage a helicopter zoomed along the coast. I have little doubt that they were insuring that the waters were safe.

Our particular beach activity was a little more pedestrian. With Cooper in tow, we traipsed over the exposed rock-pools in search of crabs and periwinkles. We held hands to support each other in case the rocks proved slippery. As humans we assess risks on a variety of levels.
Today the surfers were untroubled and so were the crabs… but everyone appeared to have fun.


  1. I have those same thoughts about young people and delusions of immortality when I watch the kids skateboarding in and out of traffic on my way to my night class. I know these kids -- they've just come from working on the excellent mural in our backyard at school -- and watching them duck between moving cars puts my heart in my throat every time!

    I would definitely have chosen to be on the rocks with you and Cooper. Your tidepool searching took me right back to my many mornings on the beach in Jamaica. Great slice.

  2. Glad you had fun & were safe.


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