Something that I find particularly odd about myself is that I’ve never once tried any extreme sports. And by extreme sports, I mean skiing, snowboarding, water skiing, surfing, wake boarding, jet skiing, etc.
It’s odd because I like to consider myself an athletic person. I also love sports. I play sports whenever I get the opportunity.
When I was younger, I had the opportunity to go skiing both on water and snow many, many times. But I passed. I’m not entirely sure why, but I suppose it was because I am too scared. Now, at age 25, I definitely don’t fear these things, but I just don’t really have the opportunity to do it anymore. Also — it’s a guarantee that I will be falling down several times while trying these sports out. My body at this age can’t handle that as well as it could have ten years ago. I think I missed the boat.
But anyway, jet skiing is usually something that is reserved for a tropical vacation. Not many people really go jet skiing just during their down time, unless you live very close to water I suppose. But as far as I’m concerned, jet skiing is a tropical island type activity.
The awesome — and scary — thing is that you don’t need much accreditation to go jet skiing. To operate a car, you need a license. To operate a motorcycle, you need a license. To operate a boat, you need a license.
To operate a jet ski, you tell some dude named Raul in a straw hat that you want to jet ski at some point and give him twenty-five bucks. Then you’re good.
It’s awesome because there’s no obstacles. If you want to do it, then you do it. You wait your turn, hop on the jet ski, and you’re free to roam. I’ve heard many people tell me how much fun it is to jet ski, and that they wish they could do it again.
Also, I used to play the game Wave Race 64 all the freaking time, and it always gave me a slight itch to hop on a jet ski and cruise down a river.
Greta game. And honestly, the graphics were way ahead of its time. I remember when it came out in 1996, all I could think of was how advanced the graphics were. The water genuinely looked real. I’m sure that wouldn’t be the case now, but considering that it was 16 years ago — it was pretty revolutionary. But I’m jumping off topic.
Now the reason why the easy access to jet skis is also scary is because not everybody who rides one should be riding one. There are plenty of people out there who are not as athletic or as coordinated as others. These people can be dangerous. They might not be as skilled as others at avoiding danger.
Of course, expert or beginner, veteran or novice, all it takes is one little screw-up for your serene jet ski adventure to take a turn for the worst. When you’re traveling 50+ miles per hour on the open water, possibly with other jet skiers or swimmers around you, and you make one little mistake — well, that is when you get horror stories. And in the past two weeks or so, horror stories have been all over the news.
First you have Alan Poindexter, 50, a celebrated NASA astronaut who died on Sunday, July 1 when he and his son collided while the two were jet skiing in Pensacola Beach, Florida.
Man, that’s got to be pretty much the worst thing ever. To be the son, and have an accident like that result in the death of your father. I can’t even imagine. Just terrible.
Then, just three days later on July 4, you had Duke freshmen football player Blair Holliday involved in a serious jet ski accident on Lake Tillery in North Carolina. He was immediately put into a coma and has been listed in critical condition. In this case, it was one of his teammates who crashed into him while the two were jet skiing.
However, I just read an article that said his health is improving. So that’s good. But still very scary.
AND THEN, as if it couldn’t get any worse, merely two days later, R&B singer Usher’s stepson, Kyle Glover, 11, was struck by a moving jet ski while he was innocently floating on an inner tube on Lake Lanier in Georgia. He was airlifted to the hospital and has since been declared brain-dead. His biological parents (not Usher) have yet to determine whether to take him off life support.
So now we can become severely injured by a jet ski when we’re not even on a jet ski!
Scared yet? I am.
I certainly didn’t list all of these tragedies to frighten you all into never jet skiing again, but I think it is important that we know the risks and hazards of it. These are obviously worst-case scenarios, and I know you can combat this blog by telling me all of the car accidents that occur on a regular basis. However, the ratio of cars to jet skis in the world is extravagant, and thus, jet ski accidents are much more significant in stature.
Also, it has a lot to do with the fact that — in the digital age — there are so many different news outlets that exist online now. Combined with the ability for news to spread very quickly through social networking, well, it doesn’t mean that these accidents never happened before this. It just means that we can easily hear about them now. But still.
If I get anything out of this, it’s that if you’re involved in a jet ski accident, then it probably means you’re going to be very, very hurt. It’s not like falling off a bike, where you skid your knees and your arms, cry a little, and then your mom buys you ice cream. With jet skis accidents, the only ice cream you’ll be enjoying is when it’s fed to you through a tube. And that’s if you’re lucky.
So I warn you, wise readers, think twice the next time you go jet skiing. I never want to see any of my fans get hurt.
It would totally ruin my hit count.