Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Disaster at Eleven Mile Reservoir

 Eleven Mile Reservoir

I was reminded once again this weekend how tenuous our hold on life is.  My wife and I spent the weekend at a nearby lake relaxing in our 5th wheel travel trailer.  It was a stormy weekend with lots of wind but we were comfortably tucked away in the RV surrounded with all of the accoutrements of a modern home on wheels. 

A fishing tournament was taking place on the lake.  Boats were coming and going.  Fishermen were checking at the dock area to report their successes.  The playground was full of children enjoying the outing while a parent tried to catch the winning trout.  As I said it was windy.  The lake was white-capped.  The sun was trying to break through but was loosing the battle.  From all appearances it was a normal weekend out.

But everything wasn’t normal.  Out on the lake, unseen by all, a husband and wife and their two dogs were fighting for their lives!   We will never know exactly what happened because neither the people nor the dogs survived.  Their boat was found capsized washed up on a rocky island.  The lady’s body and the dogs were found; her husband is still missing presumed drowned in the 40° F. water.

I’m sure the last thing on their minds that Saturday morning was the possibility of an accident happening. I’ll bet they were excited about spending the weekend at the lake.  Excited about the possibility of catching a few fish.  I know they fully expected to return home after a couple of enjoyable days in the Colorado mountains. I know nothing of their level of boating experience nor how well equipped they were to cope with a capsizing.  I don’t know if they were wearing life jackets or not.  But what I do know is that from time-to-time in our lives “bad things happen!”  Sometimes it’s a case of “wrong place, wrong time” and sometimes we are the catalyst for an accident.  Regardless, we need to pause periodically and consider the possibility that we might be the ones that are in trouble.  We need to pause and evaluate our level of preparedness to cope with a crisis. And after an objective assessment of our ability to handle a life threatening situation we need to strengthen those areas where we come up short.

The headline in a local paper read:
Colorado Springs woman dies of accidental drowning at Eleven Mile Reservoir. Search continues for husband.

What do you want your headline to read?  What you do from this moment on may determine the words that some newspaper news-writer will use to describe your story.

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