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This is the hand, the hand that saves

"The divers had already pulled up four bodies. So when a hand appeared on the TV screen Walker was monitoring in the rescue boat, showing what the diver in the Jascon saw, everybody assumed it was another corpse." Harrison Odjegba Okene survived three days of darkness and isolation when he was trapped in a sunken tugboat, breathing from an air bubble and listening to the sounds of his shipmates being eaten by fish. His amazing rescue hit the news this spring. (Previously.) The actual video of his rescue has now been widely distributed. Short version. Long version, with an appropriate but inappropriate piece of jaunty music at the end.
posted by maudlin on Dec 4, 2013 - 40 comments

Hawaii Winter Surf Season Opens With Tragedy

Two days ago, as Hawaii's North Shore saw it's first swell of the winter season, Waimea Bay (one of the world's deadliest waves) was already crowded by mid-morning. Experienced San Diego surfer and recent Hawaii transplant Kirk Passmore paddled away from the crowds to the outer reef of Alligator Rock, soon after catching a relatively tame 20 footer, the final wave of his life. Though the search continues, his body has yet to be found. [more inside]
posted by BlerpityBloop on Nov 15, 2013 - 12 comments

Alive, alone, in the abyss

"I could perceive the dead bodies of my crew were nearby. I could smell them. The fish came in and began eating the bodies. I could hear the sound. It was horror." -- Harrison Okene [more inside]
posted by Diablevert on Jun 12, 2013 - 31 comments

Idaho couple recover drowning victims

Five months ago, she vowed to find him. It wasn’t the RCMP who could help, or even a Canadian. Instead, Ms. Smith turned to Gene and Sandy Ralston, an Idaho couple who zig-zag North America in their 32-foot motor home, helping recover bodies from lakes and rivers when authorities can’t, or won’t. They don't get paid, and in some years rack up nearly 50,000 kilometres. They do it simply because people ask.
posted by emcat8 on Jul 29, 2012 - 25 comments

Investigation into Natalie Wood's death re-opened

Homicide detectives who have reopened an investigation into the death of Natalie Wood after three decades said on Friday that the film star's husband, actor Robert Wagner, was not considered a suspect. [more inside]
posted by Trurl on Nov 18, 2011 - 48 comments

Swimming, or the lack of, in the Black American community

A recent drowning tragedy in Shreveport, Louisiana has brought to light a startling statistic in America: a majority of black youth can not swim. [more inside]
posted by nomadicink on Aug 11, 2010 - 207 comments

You'd think the death toll sign would be a deterrent

"Andrew Doughty [...] brah you have BLOOD on your hands. No one ever even went to Queens Bath before these books were released, and now over 10 people have died there." The Strange Case of Queen's Bath, Kauai. [more inside]
posted by liet on Jul 16, 2010 - 29 comments

What drowning really looks like

Marine Safety Specialist Mario Vittone knows what it looks like when someone is drowning, and you probably don't. It's deceptively quiet, undramatic, and happens so fast that bystanders may not even know it's happening. A drowning person's brain kicks into an instinctive mode that prevents yelling for help.
posted by ivey on Jul 6, 2010 - 68 comments

Next Up: Solving Shrinkage

Ahh, Winter! I'm sure we're all looking forward to Christmas presents, heated car seats, and New Year's resolutions that last as long as our hangovers. But it can't be all fun and games - thus, we enter Cold Water Boot Camp, instructed by none other than Professor Popsicle (U of Manitoba's Dr. Gordon Giesbrecht), who was back in the news last week after he drove a Mercury Sable into Winnipeg's Red River.
posted by mannequito on Nov 19, 2009 - 6 comments

St. Rita's Owners found not guilty in Katrina Nursing home deaths

Salvador and Mabel Mangano, the owners of St. Rita’s nursing home in St. Bernard Parish, where 35 patients drowned in Hurricane Katrina’s flood waters, were found not guilty of negligent homicide and cruelty to the infirm charges tonight by a six-member jury. Read their story and decide for yourself if they're guilty.
posted by ColdChef on Sep 7, 2007 - 34 comments

I Told You Not To Kill That Albatross!

Disaster at Sea!! A collection of dozens & dozens of photographs of misfortune striking those GIGANTIC shipping vessels, the kind that bring goods from China to Wal Mart. Every kind of affliction imaginable, from shipboard fire to heavy weather to grounding amidst crushing waves to capsizing from ill balanced loads to random explosive cargo to terrorist attack to so much more. Descriptions of the vessels and what brought them down are included in the first link.
posted by jonson on Jul 15, 2007 - 57 comments

Terrible affair that General Slocum explosion...

One hundred years ago today, 1,358 members of the Kleindeutschland, the German neighborhood on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, boarded a chartered ferry named the General Slocum for a picnic excursion to Long Island. A fire broke out in the ship's hold while it cruised up the East River, the captain ran the vessel aground on the rocky shores of North Brother Island amid the swift currents of Hell Gate, and when it was all over 1,021 people (mainly women and children) had perished by drowning or from the fire, and it remained the worst single-day New York City disaster until 9/11.
posted by Vidiot on Jun 15, 2004 - 16 comments

Drummer Tommy Lee Says Drowned Boy Left Alone

Drummer Tommy Lee Says Drowned Boy Left Alone The boy's father, James Veres, a television producer, told a local radio station on Sunday that more people should have been hired to supervise the children and called his son's death "inexcusable." I smell a lawsuit.
posted by a3matrix on Jun 19, 2001 - 35 comments

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