It was said to read that a 70 year old Aussie pensioner died a few weeks ago whilst trying to paraglide. In normal circumstances and that alone how do you apply that to Thailand its a no win situation for anyone, obviously the poor fella himself, but will anyone learn from the situation? In all honesty I very much doubt it.
I’ve done it before…. paragliding that is a few years back when I was in my late 30’s and at the time rather burly in kilos, maybe on the max limit, but if done correctly like most things its safe. Though mine was done on the Red Sea out from a back of a boat, just off the Egyptian coast and a stones throw from both Israel, Jordan and Saudi…. Enjoyed it ? Oh yes its a great experience, that is if you have a head for heights, there is a strange sort of calm hanging around at a couple of hundred feet above sea level with nothing beneath your feet other than air. Its certaininly is peaceful.
The whole aspect I felt safe. there was a proper safety briefing, ( 10 minutes ) a check double check and check again of equipment, it was team work, 2 members of staff and myself doing all the settings straps together, and concerns by any of us and its a no deal. If at anytime during the ride I was concerned or worried, I would give an emergency signal and I would be brought down swiftly but safely in a controlled manner, there was even an emergency test from 30-40 ft prior to the main event…… well as I’m here today living proof the whole thing was a great experience. Let’s add there was also several insurance forms to be completed as well…. plus no alcohol at all.
I’d rather not actually comment to much on the incident, there are plenty of videos about showing the whole thing, and the following muck spreading and finger pointing that followed. However announcements state that the providers were unlicenced and been doing it for sometime, obviously the can of worms is open, but why is this allowed not just to happen in the first place, but continue to happen? Its far to common in Thailand that certain things get ignored or bypassed. On one hand we see many a statement about getting one’s house in order, only to be continually undermined by a blind eye on safety and proper training.
So much is ad hoc, and winging it by the seat of the pants, whilst the PM has been drumming it for the past 3 years that people are going to have to be responsible for their actions, All very nice works and correct Mr PM, but we are still a million miles from that situation, there is nothing about Thai culture that lends itself to be responsible for ones actions. From schooling where students can’t question or challenge things to no failure, when the shit hits the fan as it does in life for everyone, the first response is to do a Lord Lucan and hope the problem disappears….. well less than one in a million problems vanish, and even Daddy’s millions can’t stop karma and the scales of justice catching up one day.
This is not just a local problem, but the underclass of society will take any advantage they can and that is everyones underclass…. Tourists are often their own worst enemy and partly themselves to blame. Tourists do bloody stupid things whilst on holiday, bit of sun and alcohol they become invincible, will do things that even with a frontal lobotomy would not be considered safe at home…. why? Well lets say home life for many is no great shakes either, so that 2 week or a month escape each year is like a hampster being released form its daily treadmill of life….. I’ve seen sane people just lose the plot because they are on holiday.
Solution….. Tourists are going to have to face the fact, that insurance is an essential, no insurance and fuck you Mr funnyman your on your own, don’t look to others to bail you out of shit when it all goes tits up. Sure to be old and wise you have done a bit of young and stupid, but this is stupid off the scale…. I’d even add if your a tourist and don’t have at least 10 years biking experience, don’t hire a bike here… your signing you exit visa to the next world. For the locals, time to man up grow some, accept responsibility, before the rest of the world votes with its feet and says ” Thailand sure very nice people lonely country, great food” ” But its an accident waiting to punch your ticket” Go somewhere else!…. Insurance companies know already…. act now before its too late!
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