Saturday, September 01, 2007

Fishing for compliments?

After work on Friday, I went with coworkers to Kyeongpo Beach. There was pretty good surf for body surfing because of a sandbar thirty or so metres off-shore. We swam for an hour. Some guy whistled and possibly told us to return to shore -presumably he was a lifeguard or some such. We ignored him.

After we did get out, a coast guard boat made a few passes, then left. We speculated that the 'guy' called them.

When we were ready, we swam again and met a few Kwandong students, including one who spoke English well. They were swimming nearby when Pack-the-elcamino and I climbed out. One was yelling, but not in an urgent voice, "Help, help." We stared at each other I decided to humour the students. I jogged over and swam out to a group of four students. They pointed to a girl, much further out, in a tube.

I swam out to her.

Although not crying, she was clearly happy to see me and I towed her slowly in.

Really, I am not fishing for compliments. This isn't a story about any supposed heroism. This is a story about (young) adults who weren't able to judge the risks properly.

Many times I have seen for myself and heard reports from others, that when lifeguards stop a swimmer from going too far from shore, they explain, "Others will attempt to copy you and get into trouble."

We were swimming in deep water and deliberately ignored a (possible) authority figure who tried to call us in. Did the students, sheep-like, follow us into a situation they couldn't handle?

Another facet of the situation is that they left the girl out there alone. I think, of the five students, a few could swim, but were not quite strong enough to tow the girl back to shore. When they called us, there was a girl relatively far out (fifty metres or so), a group about half way to shore and another girl even closer to shore. I understand that the English speaker may have felt he was needed to get our attention but to leave the girl completely alone out there boggles my mind. That the group stayed at a halfway distance and no-one actually came to shore to speak to us, nor returned to the girl's aid confused us and made us feel the students were joking and being silly.

Anyway, comments about my heroism are welcome but unnecessary. Comments about the behaviors described in this post are welcome and, in fact, requested.
In other news, I have completed thirteen climbs of the little mountain so am at one-quarter of my goal. On the far side of the mountain is a spring and a rabbit hutch. For some reason, the hutch was locked open and only one rabbit was still inside.

I met this guy during my climb. I wish I had a better macro feature.
Today, Saturday, the Kwandongfamily hiked up before the rain. Well, before the rain reached us; it appears Ulsan Bowi was already receiving rain.


skindleshanks said...

Is that a pine beetle? One of my Inuit aunts told me that pine beetles will bite huge chunks of a person's flesh, and for years I was deathly afraid of them. Today, I sort of doubt that they are that vicious towards humans, but I still don't like them.

Tell me there are no pine beetles in Korea, Brian, and you'll be my hero. :)

kwandongbrian said...

It looks like a pine beetle to me. To return a question, is this the beetle that is destroying the pine forests? Should I have stepped on it?

By the way, Skindleshanks, if you see this in time and have nothing to do on Sudnay afternoon, please call me. Perhaps our sons can get up to something. Or leave a message here.
That is, if you'll still hang out with someone who isn't your hero!

Marcus said...

Hi Brian,

Scary story about the girl being left in the water by her friends. But good news that you were there to tow her back in.

kwandongbrian said...

I think you know one of the Koreans, Marcus - he used to work with us.

Skindleshanks, I didn't really answer your question last time: I think those beetles can give you quite a bite but they prefer wood - you would have to be holding them to upset them enough to bite.