Risk assessment

If you’re going to take on a big challenge, its worth a moment or two to think about the risks. We all have different views and thresholds of what is acceptable. Then it’s worth deciding if your skill level, experience and equipment matches those risks. I hope that a career working on the sea and emergency rescue work gives me a reasonable grasp.

Some have a natural ability to accept risk and just live with it. Worrying about what might go wrong is really draining and in its own way dangerous as it affects decision making. The point for me is to be aware of it. Take skiing. I love to ski off piste. Groomed runs are to get me from one wild area to another. This drives some skiers crazy. It’s too dangerous, why take the risk? I counter argue with the fact that more people die on the piste than off it. Then it becomes an argument about statistics and percentages.

The sea is a harsh and uncompromising place to be sitting alone in a small kayak. Just watch “Saving lives at sea” regularly and you’ll eventually see a rescue of a kayaker. It’s never clear what factors contributed to the rescue, if it could have been avoided or just whether it was one of those things. Everybody can have a bad day.

They call it adventure, it can come at a cost. Then again I have just spent 22 years witnessing personal tragedy of people going about their everyday lives. There will be what I like to call “drama”. My plan is to deal with it as best I can. I will give it my best shot and hopefully with good weather complete the trip, maybe going all the way around.