Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Grade Z


1.  The following isn't for the Easily Frightened or those Prone to Nightmares.  Unfortunately, that Describes Me Perfectly, but being a sucker for intriguing headlines, I've already read it.  

2.  I'm posting this article from today's Daily Mail (London) because it's so persistently timely.  We were just discussing declining professional standards this morning (could they possibly decline further, i.e., below current Grade Z-level?)   Daily fresh evidence, new examples, mount up on the doorstep, out into the street and down the avenues.  Occasionally, they phone you up, announce themselves without embarrassment, and say "I'm here to ruin your life."  Mostly, they leave you unpaid and/or on the hook for something, i.e., they neither phone nor return your call

Once, a long time ago, during my shoddy adolescence (which continued, as I recall, until I was about 28 or so), my mother said to me, critically, a little unkindly, but in retrospect, correctly: "I guess I'm just not a member of the casual generation."  

Thank heaven (and Elie Trichet) these divers were rescued.

Two scuba divers saved by passing yacht after charter boat left them to DIE at sea

Stranded: Paul Kline and fellow diver Fernando Garcia Puerta were abandoned miles from land when their charter boat left without them

By:  Richard Luscombe In Miami
Last updated at 3:33 PM on 5th October 2011

      Two terrified divers were left stranded in shark-infested waters when their charter boat disappeared.

      Paul Kline and Fernando Garcia Puerta had to cling to a buoy for two hours after surfacing from their late-afternoon dive in the Atlantic Ocean three miles from Miami and finding no trace of their boat.

     'We were in shock. We could easily have died,' Kline, 44, told the Miami Herald.
'If night had fallen, the situation would have turned into panic.'

     He said they kept talking to each other throughout their ordeal 'to try to keep up our high spirits'.

     Mr Kline, a married father of six from Texas, told WSVN-TV that he could only think about getting back to his family while stranded in the water.

     He said: 'I wasn't giving up anytime soon.'

Horror: The terrifying ordeal has been compared to the 2004 film Open Water

     Mr Kline and Mr Puerta, a Spanish tourist, were eventually spotted by the crew of a passing yacht and brought safely to shore.

     'You could notice a strong feeling of relief,' said Elie Trichet, captain of the No 
Compromise which was returning to Miami from the Florida Keys when his passengers saw the men clutching their diving equipment.

     'They had been clinging to that buoy for two hours hoping somebody would rescue them.'

     The rescued divers each paid $85 for the four-hour adventure in Biscayne Bay, which was meant to include two one-hour dives at different locations.

    'We are the ones who facilitate the trip and connect A with B,' Mr Boulanger told the Miami Herald.

    'I must assume a certain degree of responsibility, but unfortunately, this falls on (RJ Diving),' he said. 'They are in control of the divers and their security.'  

    The captain of the dive boat, Mike Beach, refused to discuss the incident with reporters, saying only: 'Everybody is OK, no one is hurt, everybody is happy.' 

    Coast Guard spokeswoman Sabrina Elgammal said: 'The incident is under investigation.'

Rescue: The 'No Compromise' was heading back to Miami from Key Largo when it stopped to pick up the stranded divers

     She added: 'We got a call that the two people were picked up in the sea and there was no medical harm and they went back to port.'

     Despite stringent safety requirements, there have been several high-profile episodes of divers being abandoned by boat operators. 

     One of the most famous incidents was made into the 2003 film Open Water. 

     Americans Tom and Eileen Lonergan surfaced from a dive off Australia’s Great Barrier Reef in January 1998 to discover their boat had gone.

     The couple, who were never found, scrawled a desperate plea for help on a diver’s slate later found at the site. It is believed they drowned or were eaten by sharks.

     In 2005, British divers Louise Woodger and Gordon Pratley were rescued in the same area after being missing for four hours.

     They were found suffering from exposure and hypothermia after currents forced them away from their boat.

Great save: The divers were plucked out of the sea by rescuers on the yacht 'No Compromise,' which was being operated by Elie Trichet


  1. i love "casual generation." i think that is a fabulous euphemism.

    unbelievable -- "everybody's happy."

    i doubt your adolescence was that shoddy, by the way.

  2. No, it was "apparently shoddy." My parents reacted very badly to the hippie thing, although my mother made sure to dress me decoratively and beautifully for "going out purposes." The shoddiness developed over time, but left me once I embraced working life. In some respect, I feel it has returned and is now the zeitgeist, but I've decided to be positive. Caroline told me that she read in People that Drew Barrymore's refrigerator features a Post-It note reading "happiness is a choice." So, that's what it has come to -- accepting advice from Drew Barrymore. That's ok -- I've always been a big fan of her grandfather, especially his line in The Twentieth Century -- "I close the Iron Door." Curtis

  3. I am fond of scuba diving.Really nice posting , I will keep visiting your blog for next update. Diving Philippines

  4. Annie, Thanks so much for visiting and please do keep visiting. I try to keep it varied here, as you will see. It's very nice to hear from you. Regards, Curtis