Lost Hiker in Hawaii Found, Search Continues for Common Sense

Share a survival experience with us and explain what you learned from it. You might help someone.

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Lost Hiker in Hawaii Found, Search Continues for Common Sense

Post by majorhavoc » Sun May 26, 2019 4:50 pm

I was raised to believe that "if you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all". But Ms. Eller's self-induced ordeal in the forests of Hawaii reads like a primer on how to do absolutely everything wrong when hiking alone in the woods. Literally everything this woman did, every decision she made, every exercise in judgement is a figurative face palm of stupidity.

This is but a sample:
Ms. Eller had intended to go on a short trail walk, one she had done before. She went off the path at one point to rest, and when she resumed hiking, she got turned around.

“I wanted to go back the way I’d come, but my gut was leading me another way — and I have a very strong gut instinct,” she said. “So, I said, my car is this way and I’m just going to keep going until I reach it.”

Ms. Eller estimated that she had hiked continuously from 10:30 a.m. until around midnight that first day, looking for her car.

The same determination that led her astray would push her to stay alive.

“I heard this voice that said, ‘If you want to live, keep going,’” she said. “And as soon as I would doubt my intuition and try to go another way than where it was telling me, something would stop me, a branch would fall on me, I’d stub my toe, or I’d trip. So I was like, ‘O.K., there is only one way to go.’”
In case I'm not being clear and you don't bother to read the whole article, suffice it to say that "one way to go" that Ms. Eller's gut was telling was EXACTLY the wrong way. If thirteen and half hours of walking that first day didn't dissuade her of that fact, you'd think the next 16 days of pointless wandering might have. Not so for a determined Ms. Eller. Worth a read, if for no reason other than to learn exactly what NOT to do if you get lost.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/25/us/hawaii-hiker.html

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Last edited by majorhavoc on Wed May 29, 2019 9:31 am, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Lost Hiker in Hawaii Found, Search Continues for Common Sense

Post by absinthe beginner » Sun May 26, 2019 5:04 pm

Search & Rescue shouldn't be allowed to interfere with natural selection.

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Re: Lost Hiker in Hawaii Found, Search Continues for Common Sense

Post by NT2C » Sun May 26, 2019 5:35 pm

absinthe beginner wrote:
Sun May 26, 2019 5:04 pm
Search & Rescue shouldn't be allowed to interfere with natural selection.
Count me as a proponent of the "Reduction In Warning Signs That People With Common Sense Don't Read Or Need Anyway Program". RIWSTPWCSDRONAP is a global initiative that I feel is long overdue.
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Re: Lost Hiker in Hawaii Found, Search Continues for Common Sense

Post by flybynight » Sun May 26, 2019 5:38 pm

So I googled the area she was lost ( couldn't believe it was that big of a area for some one to be lost for 16 days). and got distracted with street view and found this. Maui nō ka ‘oi

https://www.google.com/maps/@20.9329141 ... 312!8i6656
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Re: Lost Hiker in Hawaii Found, Search Continues for Common Sense

Post by Evan the Diplomat » Mon May 27, 2019 12:03 am

For the record, formal search and rescue concluded after 72 hours. The remaining 14 days was done by friends, family and volunteers. It’s good to be liked.

I totally agree that she made a host of bad decisions, but as I read in the Washington Post article about this, her father developed software that worked with volunteers’ smart phones allowing them to upload a gps based trace of where they searched. The allowed them to make accurate plots on the map and reduce duplication of efforts.
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Re: Lost Hiker in Hawaii Found, Search Continues for Common Sense

Post by majorhavoc » Mon May 27, 2019 5:50 am

Evan the Diplomat wrote:
Mon May 27, 2019 12:03 am
I totally agree that she made a host of bad decisions, but as I read in the Washington Post article about this, her father developed software that worked with volunteers’ smart phones allowing them to upload a gps based trace of where they searched. The allowed them to make accurate plots on the map and reduce duplication of efforts.
Remarkable how far this particular apple fell from the tree, then. :roll:

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Re: Lost Hiker in Hawaii Found, Search Continues for Common Sense

Post by Zed Hunter » Mon May 27, 2019 7:43 am

You can drive around the whole island in less than 1 hr. How many times did she walk around the forrest?

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Re: Lost Hiker in Hawaii Found, Search Continues for Common Sense

Post by MPMalloy » Mon May 27, 2019 8:41 am

I smell a rat. Zed is right. Keep going in a straight line, you reach the shore.

Didn't break a leg or some-such?

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Re: Lost Hiker in Hawaii Found, Search Continues for Common Sense

Post by majorhavoc » Mon May 27, 2019 9:24 am

MPMalloy wrote:
Mon May 27, 2019 8:41 am
I smell a rat. Zed is right. Keep going in a straight line, you reach the shore.

Didn't break a leg or some-such?
She broke her leg and tore a meniscus. But only after three days of wandering. In her defense (can't believe I'm defending any aspect of her experience), in dense forest an untrained person will walk in circles even when they think they're walking in a straight line.

Of course rule number one is that if you get lost, stay put. Actually that's rule number four, after don't hike alone unless you really know what you're doing, don't venture off the marked trail and bring along basic survival gear (or at least your cellphone, for pete's sake) even on a short day hike.

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Re: Lost Hiker in Hawaii Found, Search Continues for Common Sense

Post by madoka » Mon May 27, 2019 1:55 pm

My favorite comment from the internet:
If her story is true she needs to wear a helmet and a Locator Beacon for the rest of her life.

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Re: Lost Hiker in Hawaii Found, Search Continues for Common Sense

Post by MPMalloy » Mon May 27, 2019 1:57 pm

madoka wrote:
Mon May 27, 2019 1:55 pm
My favorite comment from the internet:
If her story is true she needs to wear a helmet and a Locator Beacon for the rest of her life.
:rofl: - 'cause it's true!

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Re: Lost Hiker in Hawaii Found, Search Continues for Common Sense

Post by RoneKiln » Tue May 28, 2019 6:45 pm

I suspect if I vanished in a Hawaiian forest, everybody would assume it was intentional for at least the first month. Nobody would come looking till about day 30. And then it would be cause they were worried I'd forgotten to pay the mortgage.
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Re: Lost Hiker in Hawaii Found, Search Continues for Common Sense

Post by Langenator » Thu May 30, 2019 9:47 am

majorhavoc wrote:
Mon May 27, 2019 9:24 am
She broke her leg and tore a meniscus. But only after three days of wandering. In her defense (can't believe I'm defending any aspect of her experience), in dense forest an untrained person will walk in circles even when they think they're walking in a straight line.

Of course rule number one is that if you get lost, stay put. Actually that's rule number four, after don't hike alone unless you really know what you're doing, don't venture off the marked trail and bring along basic survival gear (or at least your cellphone, for pete's sake) even on a short day hike.
Given that she was on an island, if you have to move, just keep going down hill. It might not be a straight line, but eventually you'll hit the ocean. (I know, that means you'll hit a stream first probably, and in that terrain, those streams probably have waterfalls at some point, which means you have to detour to get around the cliff somehow.)
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Re: Lost Hiker in Hawaii Found, Search Continues for Common Sense

Post by majorhavoc » Thu May 30, 2019 11:58 am

See rule #1, above. Here's an even better article: https://www.outsideonline.com/2397412/m ... 20a%20Week

The major takeaway from that article (aside from the fact that Amanda Eller is damn lucky that people like Chris Berquist and Javier Cantellops exist) is that she was what SAR calls a 'runner'. Someone who insists on continually moving when it's clear they are lost.

At least 95% of Ms. Eller's misery could have been avoided is she had just stayed the f*ck put.

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Re: Lost Hiker in Hawaii Found, Search Continues for Common Sense

Post by manacheck » Sun Jun 02, 2019 8:20 am

I think we can all agree that the hiker made bad decisions. It's a good cautionary tale for people to read and think about.

Not taking a cell phone. No EDC. Keeping walking for days instead of waiting could in some situations be debatable, even though that's the good advice to follow when you think someone will know where to look for you in a reasonable timeframe. "Going where my internal voice said," from personal experience, is generally a recipe for disaster in itself lol.

So, yes, she made some really dumb decisions. But can we take a moment to reflect on the one thing she did right: keeping up her morale. I feel like that's such a big thing and worthy of mentioning among the many wrong things.

There are so many situations in our lives that are less dramatic than getting lost and making extremely stupid decisions that result in 16 days of our loved ones searching for us and thinking we're probably dead. The decisions were made poorly, but think if she'd given up on keeping her morale up four days in, after the main searchers had already ceased looking.

It's crass to me to say, "the stupid deserve what they get." There's a lot of reasons people are stupid or make stupid choices. Sometimes it's due to a lack of education. Maybe she was one who didn't get lucky and find a forum where people tell you what not to do, before this happened. Maybe she has some sort of mental issue where, like OCD, when nothing else is there for you, you do the best you can and follow the only direction you're apparently being given.

Maybe after a situation like that, she'd reflect and think, "hey, if this happened again, I want to know what I did wrong, what I did right, and what I can improve on... though hopefully I never have this situation again, having gone through it once."

Being an idiot doesn't make someone deserving of dying alone lost. I just think to myself that, there's a lot of people I personally care about who, if they were in the same situation, and maybe made the same crappy decisions, if someone afterwards told me, "Well, your mom/sister/grandchild *deserved* to die because she was an idiot. Natural selection. They shouldn't have wasted a search party on that idiot. She didn't even take a cell phone. How dumb." I think my fist would need some ice after the next 20 minutes.

If you know better than people around you, it's your job to teach them. If there are people beyond your reach who don't know, it's still your job to teach them too. This woman's failure is our failure, as human beings, as far as I look at it. And I'm glad she was found for the sake of the people who keep looking for 16 days.

She must be deserving in other ways than survival, to earn that kind of love and loyalty from family and friends. There's all kinds of value to people.

Alright. Said my two cents. The devil has hereby been advocated. :lol:
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Re: Lost Hiker in Hawaii Found, Search Continues for Common Sense

Post by 12_Gauge_Chimp » Sun Jun 02, 2019 6:59 pm

manacheck wrote:
Sun Jun 02, 2019 8:20 am
I think we can all agree that the hiker made bad decisions. It's a good cautionary tale for people to read and think about.

Not taking a cell phone. No EDC. Keeping walking for days instead of waiting could in some situations be debatable, even though that's the good advice to follow when you think someone will know where to look for you in a reasonable timeframe. "Going where my internal voice said," from personal experience, is generally a recipe for disaster in itself lol.

So, yes, she made some really dumb decisions. But can we take a moment to reflect on the one thing she did right: keeping up her morale. I feel like that's such a big thing and worthy of mentioning among the many wrong things.

There are so many situations in our lives that are less dramatic than getting lost and making extremely stupid decisions that result in 16 days of our loved ones searching for us and thinking we're probably dead. The decisions were made poorly, but think if she'd given up on keeping her morale up four days in, after the main searchers had already ceased looking.

It's crass to me to say, "the stupid deserve what they get." There's a lot of reasons people are stupid or make stupid choices. Sometimes it's due to a lack of education. Maybe she was one who didn't get lucky and find a forum where people tell you what not to do, before this happened. Maybe she has some sort of mental issue where, like OCD, when nothing else is there for you, you do the best you can and follow the only direction you're apparently being given.

Maybe after a situation like that, she'd reflect and think, "hey, if this happened again, I want to know what I did wrong, what I did right, and what I can improve on... though hopefully I never have this situation again, having gone through it once."

Being an idiot doesn't make someone deserving of dying alone lost. I just think to myself that, there's a lot of people I personally care about who, if they were in the same situation, and maybe made the same crappy decisions, if someone afterwards told me, "Well, your mom/sister/grandchild *deserved* to die because she was an idiot. Natural selection. They shouldn't have wasted a search party on that idiot. She didn't even take a cell phone. How dumb." I think my fist would need some ice after the next 20 minutes.

If you know better than people around you, it's your job to teach them. If there are people beyond your reach who don't know, it's still your job to teach them too. This woman's failure is our failure, as human beings, as far as I look at it. And I'm glad she was found for the sake of the people who keep looking for 16 days.

She must be deserving in other ways than survival, to earn that kind of love and loyalty from family and friends. There's all kinds of value to people.

Alright. Said my two cents. The devil has hereby been advocated. :lol:
Excellent post, Manacheck.

I'm glad she's alive and hopefully this be an eye opener for her. I hope the next time she decides to take a hike, she brings at least some form of survival equipment and gets some survival training beforehand. No more just going off into the woods without a care in the world or any kind of plan.

Part of me wants to call her an idiot, but I think she probably already feels bad for letting this happen, so it wouldn't be fair. So I'm going to keep my opinion to myself.

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Re: Lost Hiker in Hawaii Found, Search Continues for Common Sense

Post by MPMalloy » Mon Jun 03, 2019 4:59 pm

manacheck wrote:
Sun Jun 02, 2019 8:20 am
I think we can all agree that the hiker made bad decisions. It's a good cautionary tale for people to read and think about.

Not taking a cell phone. No EDC. Keeping walking for days instead of waiting could in some situations be debatable, even though that's the good advice to follow when you think someone will know where to look for you in a reasonable timeframe. "Going where my internal voice said," from personal experience, is generally a recipe for disaster in itself lol.

So, yes, she made some really dumb decisions. But can we take a moment to reflect on the one thing she did right: keeping up her morale. I feel like that's such a big thing and worthy of mentioning among the many wrong things.

There are so many situations in our lives that are less dramatic than getting lost and making extremely stupid decisions that result in 16 days of our loved ones searching for us and thinking we're probably dead. The decisions were made poorly, but think if she'd given up on keeping her morale up four days in, after the main searchers had already ceased looking.

It's crass to me to say, "the stupid deserve what they get." There's a lot of reasons people are stupid or make stupid choices. Sometimes it's due to a lack of education. Maybe she was one who didn't get lucky and find a forum where people tell you what not to do, before this happened. Maybe she has some sort of mental issue where, like OCD, when nothing else is there for you, you do the best you can and follow the only direction you're apparently being given.

Maybe after a situation like that, she'd reflect and think, "hey, if this happened again, I want to know what I did wrong, what I did right, and what I can improve on... though hopefully I never have this situation again, having gone through it once."

Being an idiot doesn't make someone deserving of dying alone lost. I just think to myself that, there's a lot of people I personally care about who, if they were in the same situation, and maybe made the same crappy decisions, if someone afterwards told me, "Well, your mom/sister/grandchild *deserved* to die because she was an idiot. Natural selection. They shouldn't have wasted a search party on that idiot. She didn't even take a cell phone. How dumb." I think my fist would need some ice after the next 20 minutes.

If you know better than people around you, it's your job to teach them. If there are people beyond your reach who don't know, it's still your job to teach them too. This woman's failure is our failure, as human beings, as far as I look at it. And I'm glad she was found for the sake of the people who keep looking for 16 days.

She must be deserving in other ways than survival, to earn that kind of love and loyalty from family and friends. There's all kinds of value to people.

Alright. Said my two cents. The devil has hereby been advocated. :lol:
Wow!

Deep. Insightful. Much respect & thanks. :clap:

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Re: Lost Hiker in Hawaii Found, Search Continues for Common Sense

Post by manacheck » Fri Jun 28, 2019 12:43 pm

MPMalloy, 12_Gauge_Chimp - Thanks. I really appreciate that. I credit having grown up with Final Fantasy for giving me the keen appreciation for protecting the probable white mages of our community. Sometimes a warrior needs them. :mrgreen:
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Re: Lost Hiker in Hawaii Found, Search Continues for Common Sense

Post by Laager » Fri Jun 28, 2019 11:14 pm

My wife and I were stationed in Hawaii when she was active duty AF.

Some of her family came over to visit, so we had to do the usual tourist stuff. We ended up at the Halona Point blowhole and were just in time to watch a family of morons walk down the beach and up past the do not enter signs and start taking pictures of the water being sucked in and pushed out of the blowhole.

Just as we were rounding up the family, one of the morons stood directly over the blowhole......well for a brief moment, till he was blown up and then sucked down through the blowhole opening and pushed out to sea. It took somewhere around 12 to 20 hours to located the remains.

Dead as a door nail. His family ended up filing a lawsuit and won.

Frankly dead by stupidity does not bother me, but what does it that the moron ruined it for everyone else. Just like they did for the Haiku Stairs also known as the Stair way to Heaven.


https://www.latimes.com/archives/la-xpm ... story.html


Force of Hawaii Blowhole Kills Sylmar Teen

JESSICA GARRISON
TIMES STAFF WRITER
The body of a Sylmar teenager on vacation with his family in Hawaii was pulled from the ocean Monday, about 18 hours after he was washed head first into a blowhole that is a popular Honolulu tourist attraction.

Witnesses said that Daniel Dick, 18, a recent graduate of First Lutheran High School, was straddling the Halona Point Blowhole, which is closed off and marked with signs warning tourists to stay back. About 100 people watched Sunday as a wave tossed him into the air and then washed him head first into the ocean, said Honolulu Fire Capt. Richard Soo.

Rescuers in boats and helicopters, scuba divers and snorkelers combed the area, but called off the search at 8 p.m. when the sun set. They resumed searching at 5:30 Monday morning, with Dick's mother and two younger brothers waiting at the shore, Soo said.

At about 10:30, two scuba divers found the body 20 feet offshore in about 15 feet of water.

Family and friends said Dick had been student body president at First Lutheran High School, worked two jobs and was the fastest checker at the supermarket where he worked. The trip to Hawaii was a graduation present.

"They took him there because he had worked so hard to graduate and they [his family] were so happy," said Suzi Underwood, his math teacher. "He was really looking forward to it."

Dick had taken a public bus to Sandy Beach on Sunday with three girls he had met in Waikiki, Soo said.

Though tourists are supposed to observe the blowhole from a distance, Soo said that witnesses saw Dick, who was 6-feet-3 and 180 pounds, approach it and let the water splash on his chest.

The blowhole, which is like a geyser, is a result of a cliff jutting over an underwater cave, Soo said. Water rushes into the cave and then gushes through the hole. The bigger the waves, the stronger the force of the geyser.

Dick got closer and closer to the hole, and finally straddled it, Soo said. At that moment, a large swell washed in and sent a geyser into the air.

"He went head first into the air, and that was the last anyone saw of him," Soo said.

In Sylmar, news of Dick's death traveled swiftly through the First Lutheran Church and school, where many had known the family for decades.

"He had a big heart in a little skinny body," said Isabel Ritz, the student council advisor. "He was friendly and kind and he was wonderful."

Students at the high school consoled each other Monday.

"The student body is just devastated," Underwood said. "He was the class clown. He pretty much lit up the class wherever he went."

Teachers said Dick planned to study business administration at Cal State Northridge in the fall.

Through officials in Honolulu, his mother said he was the top checker at a supermarket in Sylmar, and was so fast at moving people through the line that the store had planned to enter him in a regional contest.

Teachers remembered him as a responsible student, always looking out for his younger brothers, but one who did not hesitate to stick swizzle sticks up his nose to make others laugh.

Underwood said that Dick used to take attendance in one of her classes, and every day he would "totally disrupt the class when he came in," she said.

"He would always come strolling in, all goofy, and say something to crack the class up," she said. "But I couldn't get mad at him, because I loved him and the kids loved him ... He just did it to brighten their day."

Underwood also said he was a fiercely protective older brother, a protection he extended not just to his own two brothers and sister, but to anyone being picked on.

"If there was some injustice going on, he would step in if he thought it wasn't right," Underwood said.

At least two other people have died after falling into the Halona Blowhole.

Tracy Rodrigues, 18, of Honolulu was killed April 13, 1986, when he fell into the hole. Reports said Rodrigues was squatting next to the hole, trying to look inside, when a wave struck.

On July 24, 1969, Robert Barry Lee, 26, was swept into the hole by the force of a wave as he was trying to warn a young woman about getting too close to the opening. Lee called for help while inside the hole, but was swept to sea and died.

On Sept. 10, 1967, Schofield Barracks soldier Jeffrey Terte fell into the blowhole but lived and was rescued.

*

Associated Press contributed to this report


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Re: Lost Hiker in Hawaii Found, Search Continues for Common Sense

Post by manacheck » Sat Jun 29, 2019 2:54 pm

Laager
That sucks. Maybe not so much for him, since he likely died quickly, but for your family. And for his. I feel very sorry in thinking about the mental fallout of going through that experience, especially when it happened during a vacation. Not okay. Nobody gets to just go on with their life like normal after having that happen in front of them.

Maybe because there's something I missed, (and yes, it's terrible that "accidental death by way of extremely bad judgement" happened, but...) I don't understand how that lawsuit could have been won, in your first story. That doesn't make any sense to me.

Signs were posted. Danger was obvious. Decisions are on the person making them. In this case, the decision couldn't be fixed with the guy still alive, even with help from others- unlike the poor decisions of the lost hiker featured in this thread- simply because he didn't survive long enough for anything to be done to change the final outcome.

Like you said, it doesn't just affect the dead person, but the people around when a critically stupid moment happens. Taking responsibility for a bad choice can only happen when the person who made the bad choice survives to do so. That couldn't happen in this case or the others you mentioned, seeing how they didn't survive the bad choices.

But the lawsuit being won simply doesn't make sense.

What else could have been done? Put small little fences around every known blowhole? Require you to complete a safety common sense education class before visiting the area? It doesn't make any sense. Accidents happen, mistakes happen. Sometimes it's the fault of someone. Sometimes it's nature's fault. Sometimes it's no one's fault. We do what we can with what we have. That's part of being human. But I don't see how being blown up by standing in a blowhole, ignoring signs around you, can be anyone else's fault.

Also those pics at the end of your post are awesome. Awe-inspiring view. Really makes you kind of get slapped in the face, like: "Hey, pay attention. This is nature. It's not joking. Respect it. Don't make a stupid choice. You get to be here, so be careful."


From another point of view though... those who choose to try to help or save others- regardless if the ones needing to be saved got in that situation by direct way of personal bad decisions- are making their own choice. Maybe it's more about the kind of person you are than whether the person you're trying to save necessarily deserves it. But I have a lot of respect for such volunteers. No matter if I like or dislike the person I'm saving, I don't want to be the one who drags up a dead person from the sea. Rescuing is a tough job. It's not done for the sake of the gene pool, or because we personally approve of stupidity. It's because people dying is upsetting, and the people who love them hurt when they die, no matter why.

The people who witness it hurt too. And didn't ask to be hurt. That's why I think it sucks.
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Re: Lost Hiker in Hawaii Found, Search Continues for Common Sense

Post by Langenator » Sat Jun 29, 2019 4:38 pm

manacheck wrote:
Sat Jun 29, 2019 2:54 pm
But the lawsuit being won simply doesn't make sense.
Lawsuits like this are won because the jury feels sorry for the family of the "victim" and they figure the state (in this case) or the defendant/the defendant's insurance company can pay out the $$$ and not miss it.
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Re: Lost Hiker in Hawaii Found, Search Continues for Common Sense

Post by Laager » Sat Jun 29, 2019 7:55 pm

Lil's family just blamed it on me.......seems I am a magnet for bad things and it was not really that bad. One minute you see him doing something moronic and the next he was gone. It was a what the heck just happened, I honestly expected to see him laying on the rocks after the plume of ocean water vanished.

Then I realized where he went, and I told Junior to round them up and it was time to go. Lil wanted to stay, but I said why? If the authorities have any questions they can look at the camera his family was using when they took pictures of him.

I ended up having to stay and Lil took the family and went home. I wrote my "heartless" statement blami ng the kid and his family for what happened.

The jury basically found that there were not enough signs warning of danger and that the area while difficult to access was still accessible.

So the state paid out big time and I just shook my head and pressed on with my business.

I know while we were there the state paid out two huge settlements, one for some tourist morons not heeding the warning signs and being killed by a mudslide/avalanche and the other was for the Blow hole. The state spent a huge sum of money rebuilding the stair way to heaven and then no one would insure it so they tried to block it off.




https://www.alamogordonews.com/story/ne ... 401549001/


Man found dead at White Sands National Monument


WHITE SANDS NATIONAL MONUMENT - Officials are investigating after a man was found dead inside the park on Saturday.

Though a White Sands National Monument news release didn't disclose how the man died, officials advised of the dangers of hiking in extreme temperatures in a news release announcing the death.

The daytime high temperature in the monument Saturday reached 99 degrees.

Monument rangers responded to a call that a person needed help on the Alkali Flat Trail about 4 p.m. Saturday. Rangers found an unresponsive male less than a mile from the trail head, park officials announced.

New Mexico State Police and the National Park Service are investigating.

The man is the fourth person to die on the Alkali Flat Trail in the past four years.



https://www.cnn.com/2015/08/08/us/new-m ... index.html


French couple dies in New Mexico desert; son survives


(CNN)The sun and heat are harsh in the summer, and shade is nowhere to be found. But from all over, people come to admire the otherworldly beauty of the wave-like white dunes and to hike a trail marked only by posts staked deep in the gypsum sand.

Hikers at the White Sands National Monument in New Mexico are warned about the desert conditions and advised to take many precautions. In the summer, those include drinking lots of water -- a gallon a day is recommended -- and resting frequently. Temperatures often top 100 degrees.
That heat claimed the lives of a French couple hiking the undulating dunes of the Alkali Flat Trail with their 9-year-old son. The mother and father were both overcome by the temperature and died of heat-related illness, collapsing at different points along the trail, the local sheriff said.


The mother turned back when she didn't feel well and died on her way to the car. Unaware she had collapsed, the father and son continued on -- but the man, too, became disoriented and then died with the boy at his side, Otero County Sheriff Benny House said.

Though dehydrated, the boy survived. But he might not have made it were it not for a sheriff's deputy who was first called to help the child's mother.

The clue on a camera

Two park service employees on patrol Tuesday discovered the mother first, according to Marie Sauter, superintendent of the White Sands National Monument.

They called the Otero County Sheriff's Office, which sent deputies and emergency responders, but 51-year-old Ornella Steiner already was dead.
"They were trying to figure out why she was on the trail by herself," Sheriff Benny House told CNN.

Looking at Steiner's camera for clues, the deputy saw photos of a man and boy at the park's entrance. They were unaccounted for, House said, so deputies then extended their search.

Deputies found the father and son about 45 minutes later, slightly off the trail. David Steiner, 42, was dead. The son, whose name was not given, was with him.

"He wasn't crying," House said, but "he was dehydrated and of course he was upset."

Overcome by the heat

The boy was taken to a hospital and French consular officials were notified, House said. But the boy didn't speak English, so in the meantime the sheriff's office found an interpreter -- the mother of a deputy's girlfriend, who is fluent in French.

From what the boy told investigators, the sheriff said, the family got about a mile and a half down the 4.6-mile-loop trail when the mother, who already wasn't feeling well, tumbled and aggravated a previous knee injury.
She headed back to the trailhead but made it only about 300 feet before collapsing.

The son and father continued walking for another 2,000 feet, unaware of the mother's collapse, but the father grew delirious and "started to make some bad decisions for the child," the sheriff said.

"He kept telling the son that the vehicle is 'right over here, right over here,'" House said. He was disoriented, and "the heat was affecting his judgment."

An autopsy on the parents isn't back yet, House said, but the medical examiner says their deaths appear heat-related.

Harsh environment

Alkali Flat Trail takes visitors through the scenic white sand dunes to the edge of the Alkali Flat, a lakebed that dried up thousands of years ago, after the last ice age. There is no shade among the dunes, the highest of which rises about 60 feet, and sparse short shrubs are the only vegetation.
It's not the most heavily used trail at the park because it's strenuous and long, going up and down for 2.5 miles before it loops back around, Sauter said.

"It's a trail that you want to take half a day to do," she said.

The trail's path isn't visible in the sand. Instead, the way is marked by white posts with orange reflective tape, planted 3-to-4-feet deep in the sand and set varying distances apart but intended to be visible from post to post. Hikers walk from one trailpost to the next.

With the blowing wind and sand, park employees frequently have to check that the markers haven't fallen down. Visitors are told to turn back if ever they can't see the next one.

On the day the Steiners died, the high temperature was 101 degrees under sunny skies, Sauter said.

"It was a typical summer day. We hit the low 100s throughout the summer almost every day," she said.

Once hikers get into the dunes, she said, "there is no shade. There is no cover. You are out exposed to the sun, the wind, the heat, the reflection of the sun off the white sand. It's a harsh desert environment."

On the White Sands National Monument website, the Park Service warns visitors that heat-related illness is common in warm weather and can be fatal. It advises people to hike during cool times.

"Carry food and at least two quarts of water," it says. "Rest, eat and drink when tired. Drinking water is available only at the Visitor Center. The white sand reflects sunlight. Protect all exposed skin from sunburn. Protect your eyes by wearing sunglasses. We recommend that you do not hike alone."

The Steiners' deaths were the third and fourth at the park in the past 10 years, the sheriff's office told CNN affiliate KVIA.

'It's just a tragedy'

Sauter said the park offers its condolences and sympathies to the Steiners' family and community in France.

"They're on our minds," she said.

"None of us want to ever see an incident like this, so we just try to arm the visitors as best as possible so they can make good decisions for themselves and their families for their visit," she added.

The boy's grandmother arrived in Albuquerque from France on Thursday and employees from social services took the boy to be with her, the sheriff said.

"It's just a tragedy," House said.

"It was the perfect storm for this family. They started off the trek with two 20-ounce bottles of water. When we got there, there was no water left in the bottles."

He added, "I just think they weren't prepared for that type of heat. I just think they underestimated the desert."
“Complacency kills. Paranoia is the reason I’m still alive.” If we do happen to make contact, I expect nothing less than gratuitous violence from the lot of ya.

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Re: Lost Hiker in Hawaii Found, Search Continues for Common Sense

Post by MacWa77ace » Mon Jul 01, 2019 1:14 pm

Langenator wrote:
Sat Jun 29, 2019 4:38 pm
manacheck wrote:
Sat Jun 29, 2019 2:54 pm
But the lawsuit being won simply doesn't make sense.
Lawsuits like this are won because the jury feels sorry for the family of the "victim" and they figure the state (in this case) or the defendant/the defendant's insurance company can pay out the $$$ and not miss it.


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LADY JUSTICE THEN:
Blindfold: impartiality, the ideal that justice should be applied without regard to wealth, power, or other status.
Sword: conveys the idea that justice can be swift and final.
Scales: upon which she measures the strengths of a case's support and opposition.
Toga: symbolic of the philosophical attitude that embodies justice

ANDROGYNOUS JUSTICE NOW:
Eyepatch: so as to see only the media's version.
Bleeding Heart: if no plea bargain or settlement can be reached after weeks of media hype, whichever side has signaled the most hurt feelings should prevail after prolonged and appealed proceedings.
Scales: tipped ever toward the activist judges' will and influence over a jury and evidence.
Burlap Sack: symbolic of the sacrifice of those who virtue signal feelings against perceived injustices, and who then feel better about that sacrifice for having signaled, when having actually done nothing.
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Re: Lost Hiker in Hawaii Found, Search Continues for Common Sense

Post by manacheck » Mon Jul 01, 2019 6:10 pm

I know for a fact: that heart in version 2 is censoring a one-fingered salute.

Anyone with a heart and any compassion would feel sorry and sad for the family. It's a terrible thing to have gone through. Probably half of the family's income was lost as a result. A sympathetic, emotional response is natural and right to have. Of course people in general would want to help the family.

But that ruling, going purely from the information offered here, was not a righteous judgement.

Justice simply doesn't work when feelings mapbend the facts. "They can afford it" is absolutely not an alright justification within the legal system as a reason to find someone guilty when they clearly- in this case- are not the reason the death happened. Feelings must work alongside facts, not in lieu of them. It doesn't matter if the state could afford it. It matters whether the state was at fault for it happening.

And not just that, but... precedent is a huge thing. I can't even begin to explain what a big deal having a judgement like that to use in future cases is for the next day's lawyers. The impact on how people think. The direction we go, socially, from there. Law is an enormous responsibility.

No person, or peoples, should be able to be in a position of that level of power without understanding the impact of that power when it's wielded. That case in question being settled wrongly out of a sense of pity- while the pity is correct- the judgement in finding someone else at fault for actions not their own, is wrong. It paves the road for the system to be abused. It paves the way for financial entitlement against others who have not done wrong in cases with less heartache than this one.

Helping in and of itself isn't in any way wrong. How help is done, however, can be. How it was done, in this instance, was wrong. There's a difference between donations from people with good hearts hurting for you, and penalty forcibly paid out due to a third party's feels. I can understand the family needing someone other than the person they lost to blame, and I can understand the good having that judgement and the financial help it brought to the family, but that variety of judgement has more reaching impact than the immediate assistance financially to them. And that responsibility is not on the family. It's on the court that granted it.

That said, there's a lot of corruption in the world. This is probably one of the more benign instances of it. But feelings and wanting to help all the same, it's still manipulation.

This kind of "grey area" decision gets me riled. It's entirely possible there's things I'm not noticing or responding to sufficiently, and if so, apologies. But to my perspective, it's not a far cry from "the state is responsible for when someone makes a bad choice" to "the state will from not on not allow you, or anyone else, to decide anything, because the state will be at fault if you decide in a way that can cost them money in court... seeing as they are ultimately responsible."

Barring anyone or anything getting in the way of my doing it, I'm ultimately responsible for me. He was ultimately responsible for him. He chose to stand in a spot posted as dangerous. It killed him. If I were the dead one instead of him, I'd be the one responsible for having made the choice. The state didn't decide to put him in that position in this case. I don't understand why or how it can be twisted around to be any less simple than it is, regardless of that it's tragic and could have been avoided. If he was able to have been saved by rescuerers, it might have been him getting sued for blatantly ignoring the signs/warnings, and endangering rescuerers, versus the other way around. The state's reputation took a hit, they lost tons of money spent, and now no one can enjoy the area he died around.

We let one person's bad decision be the guide for everyone, instead of it being what it was: an unfortunate choice that ended in a death, that was his fault, and that left his family and others in a bad spot. It's just bad all around. The learning moment can never exist.
"It is better to light a single candle than to curse the darkness."

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