Saturday, May 05, 2012

"It's hard to be happy and sad at the same time."

This article from 9news tells a rather sad story.  As the title of the article "Boat accident survivor 'owes life to missing friend'" pretty much spelled it out the essence of the details:
A woman who swam for three hours to reach land in the dead of the night after her boat capsized the Queensland coast says her survival is owed to her friend, who remains missing. 
 Candace Tommy and her work colleague Gavin Studwell, 39, were fishing near the Gold Coast when their 4.2m boat was struck by a freak wave at 2am on April 18.
 "Two freak waves… it's the last thing you would have expected," Ms Tommy told Nine News.
 "I thought ‘This is it, this is the end’." 
 Mr Studwell helped Ms Tommy to gain confidence in the water, telling her: "Keep listening to my voice. Focus on the lights. Swim towards the lights."
 The pair was washed apart when another huge wave rolled in but Ms Tommy was determined to make it to shore.
 She swam for three hours through jellyfish–infested water to reach Main Beach.
 "I said to myself 'I've got to get home. I'm going home. I'm going home to see my mum'," she said.
 Once she reached shore, Ms Tommy assumed Mr Studwell had already made it.
 Finding out he was still missing was hard to take.
 "It's very cold comfort," she said.
"It's hard to be happy and sad at the same time."
Clearly the last line gives the punch line of the story -- you can't be happy and sad at the same time!  We still don't know what had happened to her friend who basically saved her life by inspiring confidence in her.   Was it another freaque wave?   We can certainly share her anguish in being saved but her friend is still missing.  I guess the more fundamental point is that we still don't have any notion about this kind of freaque waves in the shallow part of the sea.  We don't know why and how it had happened -- "two freaque waves" this time.  They just kept on happening, over and over.  Academically we just try different or varied formulations.  Problem remains unsolved!  What else can the scientific world do?

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