Saturday, December 24, 2005

Death on the water and personal responsibility??

Charles "Chip" O'Hara is dead. His small kids are without their dad at Christmas. This is a classic boating tragedy. See the article on this Sorry no hyperlink but it is posted below. O'Hara was allegedly killed by his friend. They were both allegedly engaged in horseplay on powerful watercraft and both allegedly under the influence of alcohol. O'Hara's friend who allegedly killed him has a history of drinking and driving. The reports say that these firefighters live in a culture of risk taking and invulnerability. That may be true but these men were in the mid-thirties. They are not kids. They had training and common sense. Now two little kids are without their dad and one has to ask: Who is to blame? Where is the personal responsibility? Are both men culpable? Did the fire department do enough to train these men about such dangers? Do public servants have a duty to behave better than the rest of society and use their training in safety to avoid such dangers? Should society feel bad for Wally Rothe who lost a good friend? What do you tell Mackenzie and Austin O'Hara about why they don't have a dad at Christmas? Tough questions for the family and society. We are all sorry for their loss at the holidays and hope that others can learn from this tragedy. Dwayne Clark

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