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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Cruise for Disaster

The last few days have been full of news of the cruise ship disaster in Italy. Seeing that ship go 'tilt' with people still aboard was horrifying. Allegedly the captain managed to get off the ship before the passengers...there is something seriously wrong there.

But as I watched it I thought back to summers at the lake. Of my swimming lessons. Given by our neighbor Mrs. Scarmuzzi. Yes, I've written about other things she's taught me before, but one of the things she taught us was a water survival class. One skill? How to jump off a ship, sans life jackets, throwing our pants (knotted at the bottom of each leg) over our heads and blowing them up to provide us with a float until a life boat could reach you. We must have been quite a sight bobbing around the lake hanging onto our inflated pants!

We laughed as we practiced this skill. We were sure it was something we'd never need. But as I watched the tragedy unfold of that ship tilting over into the sea I think how lucky I am. I probably would have had a much higher possibility of survival in a similar accident thanks to her lessons. Or at least I might not have panicked as easily.

I'm sure she never taught us those skills expecting any of us would be on a cruise ship that tilted over and sank, and as far as I know none of my former swimming classmates were on that ship or any other ship that had a similar disaster.

But it made me realize there is a reason behind all those odd things you learn in life. Sometimes it's something that just might save your life. Sometimes it's something that enriches it. But I learned to PAY ATTENTION TO DETAILS!

You never know when those details might be something you'll need. Thank you Mrs. S. for teaching us, for caring, for giving us your time and skills. I'm not sure the Red Cross still offers this class but it taught us the value of looking a an object and transforming it into a useful piece of safety equipment. But I'm still not sure I'm up for a cruise in the near future!


  1. The Red Cross is still teaching these survival skills but you will need to set a schedule for training with them. You just never know when these emergencies will arise.

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  2. Thanks for that info Rosemary! Always good to know they are still teaching it! Thanks for reading (and for commenting so the rest of my readers can call their local Red Cross and try to find a class.