Monday, August 24, 2009

Sometimes, Nature's a real mother...

Photo by Glenn Tucker
A crew of rescue workers aboard a U.S. Coast Guard boat rescue a man from the ocean about 1/8th of a mile from where he was swept in near Thunder Hole as seen from Ocean Drive in Acadia National Park. Officials say a large wave in Maine's Acadia National Park swept people into the sea.

Bangor Daily News photo by Bill Trotter
Bryan Daigle of the Acadia National Park Fire Department uses a telescope Sunday to keep an eye on the turbulent water off Thunder Hole for anyone who might be in the water. A powerful wave from the storm surge created by Hurricane Bill crashed onto sightseers around noon Sunday, dragging at least three people into the water and injuring nearly a dozen others.

Lots of news in our neck of the woods lately. Hurricane Bill went by our coast and whipped the ocean here into a frenzy. We're just coming off a new moon, which means higher tides than normal, and then Bill brought some pretty rough winds and hugely high seas. The roads in some areas of Mount Desert Island were closed to traffic, and a group of people got smacked pretty hard by a rogue wave. Three were swept into the ocean, and one of them, a little girl from New York, died. It was a rough day for my ranger friends in Acadia National Park. Even three hours later, the road near Thunder Hole was still closed. Thunder Hole is about a mile and a half from our home.

Normally I have a pretty harsh opinion about people who get too close to nature and become her victims. Darwin in action, I say. But from what I can gather, this crowd was not where it shouldn't be - instead, one big-ass rogue wave crashed up onto the shore and soaked them, knocking many down and into the very solid rocks and smashing their bones. And a little girl died. That can't have been her fault. My heart goes out to her family and friends.

Nature here can be beautiful and brutal, and that was certainly the case Sunday. Those waves were spectacular, which is why thousands of people went to check them out. Only sometimes nature is unpredictable and tragedies happen. Nature can indeed be a real mother.

Here is the Portland Press Herald story on the weather.
Here is the Bangor Daily News story on the Acadia tragedy.
Here is the CNN link to the story.
Even the Boston Globe ran a story, and with some canned video of Thunder Hole and live shots of the surf near Portland (about 150 miles from here).

Today didn't so much dawn as it just became light. Rain fell all night and it is still pretty cloudy and damp and drizzly out there. And humid. Lawns are beautiful and green with this weather, but wooden structures are rotting where they stand. Jeez. Some days it seems you can't win for losing.

1 comment:

MRMacrum said...

I too usually have little sympathy for folks who tease Mother Nature and get caught being stupid. But like you say, these folks were not really doing that. Incidents like this just reinforce how insignifcant and helpless humans really are when Ma Nature decides to stir things up.