PDA

View Full Version : An Arrestable Offense?


fitbabits
02-07-2009, 04:24 PM
Should stupidity and/or blatant disregard for one's own safety be an arrestable offense? Read this first then comment:

One person died Saturday after he fell in the water when an ice floe broke away from land in western Lake Erie, a Coast Guard spokesman told CNN.

"We have rescued more than 150 people, and unfortunately there were two people in the water," Coast Guard Chief Petty Officer Robert Lanier said. "One of the people was recovered and brought to shore," but the other man was pronounced dead after being transported to a hospital.

Coast Guard aircraft were surveying the ice floe to make sure everyone had been recovered, Lanier said.

At least some of those rescued were ice fishermen.

"Ice fishing and recreation on the ice is a culture in the Great Lakes. It's something we've become used to," Lanier said.

But the Ottawa County, Ohio (http://topics.cnn.com/topics/ohio), sheriff said those rescued should never have been on the ice in the first place, and "if there was a section in the code about common sense, we would have had 150 arrests out there today."

"This just cost the taxpayers a ton of money," Sheriff Bob Bratton said. "We lost a life out there today. ... I'm sorry a man lost his life out there today. These people should have known better ."

He said the fishermen had to build a makeshift bridge to get from one section of the ice to the other. "When they got to the other, that put them further out. The weather changed; the temperature went up; the wind was coming out of the south. These are all things that are indicators [that a break could occur]."

Beside the money spent, he said, the rescue effort put rescuers in danger.

Asked whether there are signs or other notification systems to discourage fishermen from going out on the ice under risky conditions, Bratton said there are only Web sites fishermen can check.

"We will go back and look at that," he said. "We can't develop the attitude, 'Go out on the ice. If you get caught, we'll be there to get you. We'll bring you in.' You've got to have common sense."

Unprecedented numbers of fishermen have taken to the ice this winter because thicker ice allowed them to go farther out onto the lake, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer. But Saturday's unseasonably high temperatures apparently melted chunks of the ice.

Ice fishermen towing trailers with snowmobiles and all-terrain vehicles filled the parking lot of Catawba Island State Park on Friday, the newspaper reported.

"It's really busy for a Friday morning," park ranger Christopher Desh told the Plain Dealer. "I expect the weekend will be a madhouse."

The ice floe, 8 miles long, was created when a large piece of ice broke off Saturday from land near Locust Point, Ohio, east of Toledo, Lanier said earlier.

Numerous helicopters participated in the rescue, Lanier said, including those from the Canadian Coast Guard, the U.S. Coast Guard, Ohio State University and Monroe County. State hovercrafts were on the scene as well, and airboats were sent, he said.

Those rescued were brought to a staging area at a park, Lanier said.
The U.S. Coast Guard (http://topics.cnn.com/topics/u_s_coast_guard) received a call from one of the people reporting they were stuck about 10:45 a.m., he said.

The National Weather Service issued a warning Saturday that ice floes could break away from the main ice area in the western section of Lake Erie (http://topics.cnn.com/topics/lake_erie).

Reporter Colleen Wells of CNN affiliate WTOL said she had spoken with some of those rescued, and they reported they went out on the ice this morning as people had laid planks over the cracks in the ice. But "the wind changed, and that ice they were on started drifting out and before they knew it, their plank had fallen into the water, so they were stuck," Wells said.

"They're in good spirits," she said. "They feel kind of embarrassed." Emphasis mine.

Discuss.

diablopath
02-07-2009, 04:25 PM
story here
http://www.cnn.com/2009/US/02/07/Ohio.stuck.on.ice/index.html

if there was a section in the code about common sense, we would have had 150 arrests out there today." "This just cost the taxpayers a ton of money," Sheriff Bob Bratton said. "We lost a life out there today. ... I'm sorry a man lost his life out there today. These people should have known better."


I don't know what anybody else thinks about this, but I don't believe I've seen anybody call out idiots like this before. Usually it's the "We avoided a bigger tragedy", and I really appreciate this guy saying "People were being idiots, and it cost somebody their life."


I dunno. What does everybody else think about that?

fitbabits
02-07-2009, 04:27 PM
I beat you by a minute, diablo, so I merged the threads.

ShivaX
02-07-2009, 04:28 PM
The real problem isn't stupid people dying, its firefighters, Coast Guard and the like having to risk their own lives saving them from being stupid. I'm inclined to say no though because its the sort of thing thats easily abused. Being stupid is sort of a free speech issue. You have the right to be an idiot.

fitbabits
02-07-2009, 04:34 PM
The real problem isn't stupid people dying, its firefighters, Coast Guard and the like having to risk their own lives saving them from being stupid. I'm inclined to say no though because its the sort of thing thats easily abused. Being stupid is sort of a free speech issue. You have the right to be an idiot.
Think of the uproar if the rescue personnel didn't roll on this one and simply decided to let fate dictate the outcome.

You may have the right to be an idiot, but do you have the right to put other people's lives at risk by doing so?

DangerousDaze
02-07-2009, 04:38 PM
There are too many stupid people in the world to make it an offence. The legal system would collapse under its own weight!

Perhaps better education is the answer?

BlackScarab
02-07-2009, 04:46 PM
There are too many stupid people in the world to make it an offence. The legal system would collapse under its own weight!

Perhaps better education is the answer?

As the great Ron White said, you can't fix stupid.

fitbabits
02-07-2009, 04:47 PM
As the great Ron White said, you can't fix stupid.
But when stupid leads to people dying and others risking their lives to rescue stupid, shouldn't there be consequences?

DangerousDaze
02-07-2009, 04:50 PM
But when stupid leads to people dying and others risking their lives to rescue stupid, shouldn't there be consequences?

I guess the rescuers have to make a cost/benefit analysis on a case by case basis. "What are the chances of me being injured or worse while attempting to save this idiot?" If the chances aren't good then the rescue shouldn't be attempted. After all, it'd be stupid to. Right? ;)

frederec
02-07-2009, 05:01 PM
But when stupid leads to people dying and others risking their lives to rescue stupid, shouldn't there be consequences?

Haven't there been cases where the people rescued get charged for the expenses to mobilize the huge rescue. I can see wanting to do that when it was the person's on stupidity and negligence that led to the situation.

It's like the emergency room. You can show up in desperate need for help, and they'll help you, only talking about money once it's all said and done. Saving lives is the priority, figuring out who's at fault and what needs to be done can be done afterwards.

For another analogy, it's like if a teenager wrecks a car. Most parents, when they hear about this, will ask if their kid is all right first. Once that's settled, then they can start laying into them about responsibility and consequences and whatnot.

TheEpicOfTyler
02-07-2009, 05:04 PM
Is it common for ice fisherman to feel safe when the ice is breaking apart? If they wanted to arrest them, they should make it illegal to go out on the ice when the only way to get around is by crossing planks between chunks.

Johan
02-07-2009, 05:14 PM
There are too many stupid people in the world to make it an offence. The legal system would collapse under its own weight!

Truth.

Perhaps better education is the answer?

The entire bloodbath of the twentieth century is proof that mankind can't be educated out of what we are, and what we are isn't pretty.

fitbabits
02-07-2009, 05:16 PM
The entire bloodbath of the twentieth century is proof that mankind can't be educated out of what we are, and what we are isn't pretty.
We're human, unfortunately. Some, though, are indefensibly stupid.

Johan
02-07-2009, 05:29 PM
Some, though, are indefensibly stupid.

Most are, given the opportunity.

I have great faith in myself and my fellow man/woman.

Generation ABXY
02-07-2009, 06:13 PM
If nothing else, I think it could very well work as a sufficient deterrent: if you realize there may be legal consequences even if you dont believe your life is at risk you may think twice about doing something stupid in the first place. On the other hand, I do think there is the potential there for a slippery slope I mean, the next person may be willing to extend that rule of law even further so, as someone mentioned before, it would probably be best to simply make the people responsible for what happens, whether that is monetary damages or (and this Im not too sure about) even unintentional manslaughter if a rescuer is injured.

pseudopseudo
02-07-2009, 06:39 PM
Here's the thing. When you go into a fire rescue, law enforcement, or even medical (EMT?) field, you go in fully knowing that at some point in time, your life will probably get put in danger during a rescue.

I'm not saying that stupidity should be defended (it shouldn't). And these rescue crews are heroes in the most literal sense of the word. I'm just saying that if you are in the business of saving people, you know full well that your life may be put in danger. Some of the people you save aren't the brightest, and I guess that's just part of the job. I'm sure the stupid ones are a minority compared to all the other lives that are saved.

fitbabits
02-07-2009, 06:43 PM
Here's the thing. When you go into a fire rescue, law enforcement, or even medical (EMT?) field, you go in fully knowing that at some point in time, your life will probably get put in danger during a rescue.

I'm not saying that stupidity should be defended (it shouldn't). And these rescue crews are heroes in the most literal sense of the word. I'm just saying that if you are in the business of saving people, you know full well that your life may be put in danger. Some of the people you save aren't the brightest, and I guess that's just part of the job. I'm sure the stupid ones are a minority compared to all the other lives that are saved.
I don't think anyone was suggesting that the rescuers were somehow oblivious to the nature of their work, but the question I'm asking is whether those who put the rescuers in peril through their own willfulness and stupidity should somehow be held accountable.

Shamrock Jimmy
02-07-2009, 11:42 PM
If people do something really stupid and rescue teams have to be called in they should be financially responsible, but criminally? Hell no, if I want to do something stupid that is very likely to get me killed but doesn't put other people in danger I should be allowed to do so.

Church42
02-08-2009, 12:20 AM
Yeah, I guess my thoughts are similar to Shamrock Jimmy...making an example of these fishermen w/ criminal charges does not stop people from being idiots.

But hit them in the pocketbooks and maybe future idiots will think twice before doing something idiotic

Doogie2K
02-08-2009, 12:38 AM
Is it legal to fine someone for being a total dipshit? If so, fire away.

TrackZero
02-08-2009, 01:12 AM
There are too many stupid people in the world to make it an offence. The legal system would collapse under its own weight!

Perhaps better education is the answer?

I always like to think that. But I know far too many stupid people (in common sense) that have great educational backgrounds.

TrackZero
02-08-2009, 01:13 AM
Is it legal to fine someone for being a total dipshit? If so, fire away.

Unfortunately only after they've fucked up.

Craigtheplague
02-09-2009, 12:22 PM
I agree with this "common sense" law. We do have seat belt laws, don't we? One may think it's exclusively their business whether they wear a seat belt or not, but if they die or get seriously injured in a wreck from lack of a seat belt, the tax payers pay more for the clean up. There just needs to be signs all around the lake clearly indicating when it's safe and when it's not safe to go ice fishing.

Ox
02-09-2009, 01:10 PM
It's a crime in Australia. (http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2008/12/01/2434340.htm)

rifter
02-09-2009, 01:20 PM
I agree with this "common sense" law. We do have seat belt laws, don't we? One may think it's exclusively their business whether they where a seat belt or not, but if they die or get seriously injured in a wreck from lack of a seat belt, the tax payers pay more for the clean up. There just needs to be signs all around the lake clearly indicating when it's safe and when it's not safe to go ice fishing.

You know... I have been ice-fishing, and it is fun... A BIG indicator of when NOT to go ice fishing, is freaking CRACKS IN THE ICE THAT NEED BRIDGES to get over! The only cracks I have EVER seen, is in the center of the lake, where the ice expands, and creates a ridge. (interesting/cool feature) but I stayed WELL away from that area... and any areas that where slushy. This really isn't rocket science, here.

Though it really seems that only edge was dangerous, the center sounded pretty secure, where the people were.

Wraith
02-09-2009, 01:41 PM
Is it common for ice fisherman to feel safe when the ice is breaking apart? If they wanted to arrest them, they should make it illegal to go out on the ice when the only way to get around is by crossing planks between chunks.You know... I have been ice-fishing, and it is fun... A BIG indicator of when NOT to go ice fishing, is freaking CRACKS IN THE ICE THAT NEED BRIDGES to get over! The only cracks I have EVER seen, is in the center of the lake, where the ice expands, and creates a ridge. (interesting/cool feature) but I stayed WELL away from that area... and any areas that where slushy. This really isn't rocket science, here.

Though it really seems that only edge was dangerous, the center sounded pretty secure, where the people were.I don't know how it is on the Great Lakes, but on smaller bodies of water, it's not uncommon to have "bridges" over large cracks in the ice where ridges are formed.

You can see part of a "bridge" like this in this picture (http://flickr.com/photos/rollin59/3260956219/).

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3530/3260956219_f8d1d7c3c1.jpg

But the article said that planks were put down, so it sounds like a less sturdy bridge. And surely there are other considerations on such a large body of water.

I guess these people either didn't hear the warnings or just didn't heed them.

Wraith
02-09-2009, 01:48 PM
Hmm...Friends of an Ohio man who died of an apparent heart attack on Lake Erie say he was not on an ice floe that broke from the shoreline, stranding 134 fisherman over the weekend.

Sixty-five-year-old Leslie Love of New Albany, Ohio, was on a snowmobile that broke through ice Saturday, about 200 yards from the shore. Friends say he stood on the vehicle's seat, stepped onto solid ice and collapsed.

Son-in-law Vernon Rarey performed CPR but was unable to save him. Rarey told The Columbus Dispatch in story published Monday that they were 5 miles from where a pack of helicopters and air boats rescued the other fisherman.

Family members said Love had a heart condition but had been in excellent health lately.http://www.ohio.com/news/39309172.html

Also, wooden pallets?:Authorities said fishermen apparently used wooden pallets to create a bridge over a crack in the ice so they could go farther out on the lake. But the planks fell into the water when the ice shifted, stranding the fishermen about 1,000 yards off shore.http://www.ohio.com/news/39262272.html
Many of the 134 fishermen rescued from Lake Erie ice returned to the miles-long floe Sundayusing rented air boats to retrieve their snowmobiles, all-terrain vehicles and other equipment.http://www.ohio.com/news/ohio/39298882.html

So it was enough to support ATVs or snowmobiles, but doubt anyone took full size vehicles over that thrown together bridge.