Friday, July 20, 2012
Chicago storm incident - misreported?
I'm lifting from my own most recent status update on Facebook, so if you're FB friends with me & this looks familiar, that's why. I'm taking a break from my Finnish fugue for this because it seems to be a rather extreme case of what happens when reporters who maybe don't know anything about boating report on a boating incident without really understanding what happened - there's more information available and I think it's worth sharing. ************* Don't know if anybody else was curious about what the heck happened in that storm in Chicago, where supposedly "dozens" of kayakers had to be rescued by emergency services, but according to reporting that I found through a fellow blogger, although it was a dramatic weather event, it sounds like a lot of the drama got added in in the local news reporting of the event. The Chicago Area Sea Kayak Association has been putting up some interesting posts with the guides' version - click here to read their first post in the series. Particulary interesting/irritating is the fact that the media version of the story led to the Wall Street Journal leading off an article with "The storm that dumped dozens of kayakers into the Chicago River this week highlights the risks posed as cities increasingly turn their rivers into urban playgrounds..." - click here to read that. There are safety concerns, absolutely, no properly-educated paddler would deny that -- but does the Chicago story highlight those, or does the Chicago story highlight the way that sometimes papers rush to publish a dramatic story without really checking their facts? Hard to say. CASKA reporting found via Dave O's The Lake Is The Boss - thanks Dave! WSJ found through Capt. Bill Brucato's NY Tugmaster's Blog - ironically, I'd gone over there to ask him if he'd seen that new Safe Harbor site that local paddler Ray Fusco had worked with the Coast Guard, the DOT, and a whole range of local professional mariners and recreational boaters to produce.