Thursday, 29 September 2011

Ignore the warnings, pay the price.

, Yesterday a British man, Michael Cohen, lost one leg and was left with the other badly maimed when he was attacked by a Great White shark off the coast of Cape Town in South Africa.

The shark had previously been sighted in the water, warning notices had been put up and the beach was closed.  Two people had warned him not to go into the water because of the shark, to which he had responded that if he was taken to "blame me, not the shark."

Within seconds he had been attacked and is now in hospital, having lost his right leg. 

The press appear to be largely unsympathetic to his plight, with the circumstances prior to the attack being reported in all papers. 

But there is surely a broader issue to all this.  This man will now have to stay in hospital for some time, and will no doubt have to undergo months of rehabilitation to help him adapt to his new disability, not to mention surgery to repair the damage to his left leg. 

He has become disabled, and all because he was too arrogant to listen to the warnings and clearly thought he was invincible.

Valuable resources will now be taken up to help this man back to a state where he will be able to lead a normal life.  Yet it could be argued that it is because of his own stupidity that he is now in this position. 

There is no question that he should of course receive the help he needs.  But is it wrong to have little sympathy for a man who became disabled after knowingly going into the water where a Great White shark had been seen just minutes previously, and falling victim to it? 

And what of the shark?  No doubt there will be calls for it to be hunted down and destroyed before it claims a human life, and yet the shark was just doing what sharks do - looking for food in its own environment, it didn't really do anything wrong. 

Michael Cohen has paid a high price for his arrogance and stupidity.  What price will the shark have to pay?

1 comment:

  1. Good post. He was stupid to go in there. I'm not saying he deserves what he got, but his stupidity was not only for himself. Others were put at risk rescuing him. And it will feed the misconception thath sharks are on the whole a danger to humans.

    They are not. Sharks are fascinating, non aggressive creatures that we choose to annoy on their territory.