True Stories: A Comedy of Errors

Boating safety
True StoriesIllustration: Chaz Russo

When this story came across our desk, it gave us all a pretty good laugh. It almost didn’t seem real. When we looked into it, we discovered that the story was submitted by a friend of the victim, and it took place in Australia, of all places ­— so naturally, it had to be true. While we have our doubts about whether this so-called friend isn’t just the victim himself playing it cool, apparently the scars do exist, and the once-tragic memory of the incident is now accompanied by humor rather than remorse.

As the story goes, the rider — we’ll call him Steve — and his wife, who was driving the boat — we’ll call her Tracy — were out for a casual set on a hot summer day. Steve fell, and when Tracy came back around to pick him up, she accidentally ran him over. When she ran him over, the prop did quite a number on his leg. In a panic, she pulled him back into the boat and sped to shore, where they scrambled into their SUV. In a frantic rush to get Steve to the hospital, Tracy drove like a madwoman, only to lose control and drive off a cliff and into a tree. At that point, they ditched their SUV and ascended the cliff back to the scalding-­hot 100-degree asphalt, where they waited for the ambulance to arrive.

How is no one dead after this series of events? You can’t make this stuff up. Now that we’ve all had a good laugh, let’s get serious for a minute. Anytime you set out on any waterway, you need to have an emergency plan. For example, the building you are in right now probably has an escape plan posted on the wall somewhere. Why should planning be any less important on the water? Get to know your waterways and learn the street names associated with the shorelines. This way, if a tragedy strikes, you can call for help and tell them the exact street to pick you up at. If the emergency plan is known beforehand, those split-second decisions that are made in a panic don’t have to result in wrapping your SUV around a tree at the bottom of a cliff.

To better educate yourself about boating safety and help prevent mishaps like these, go to wakeboarding​mag.com/boatingsafety. Stay safe out there, folks!