Thursday, August 14, 2003

The Drowning Machine

The NY Times quote of the day was from Lt. Fred Larow:

"They call it a drowning machine. The water was so turbulent and aerated that there was no way they could stay above water."

He was referring to the river water in which four boys drowned. The boys affectionately called one another the Baco boys, and in a reunion of sorts, they visited their childhood haunt, Split Rock Falls, 20 miles miles east of Lake Placid. One of them, David Altschuler, slipped and fell into the Boquet River. The recent rain water and the nearby water fall churned up the high water so much that the body's natural buoyancy was defeated. "Even the strongest swimmer in the world couldn't have survived it," Lt. Larlow continued.

The three other men, Adam Cohen, Jonah Richman, and Jordan Satin, friends since youth, jumped in. They all died. They were all 18-19 years old.

Ever since reading The Perfect Storm, I've always thought that drowning would be the worst way to die. There's the struggle, as the body attempts to preserve itself. But then the lungs fill with water. Choking. More struggle, then the brain shutting down, the body fighting less and less.

One of the Baco boys was co-captain of his swim team. They were all athletic. Did the three who jumped in to rescue their friend realize they were diving into a drowning machine? It's numbing thinking about it.

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