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For Alaska shipwreck survivor, losing everything has been ‘sort of liberating’ (ktoo.org)
135 points by DoreenMichele 3 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 75 comments





My one and hopefully only experience with anything like this was as part of a delivery crew going from San Francisco to Santa Barbara. Racers, we left in a gale but we were going downwind and it was easy living. The skipper had bought a $100 genoa which eventually fully delaminated and shredded.

It was blowing 30+ which didn't seem that bad since, again, we were going downwind. But we needed to gybe to stay on course. Gybing was not going to be fun but I suggested that we just chicken gybe, a dinghy school maneuver, to make life just a little safer. We did and got it over with.

Still 30-40 knots had us racing down the coast and Point Conception was in our future. Translate Point Conception from Spanish to English and you get the idea. So we decided to radio in to Morro Bay. Channel 16 had been broadcasting Morro Bay is closed. Do not approach Morro Bay. That includes you.

In fact, Morro Bay did not even pick up but eventually Long Beach did. They said Morro Bay would radio back which they did.

Morro Bay was very professional. How many souls on board? Are you wearing life jackets? What is your sailing experience? Have you been in to Morro Bay before? ...

A note about Morro Bay. In normal conditions, it's easy peasy. But in a blow, the waves are rolling south directly into the breakwater, the rocks. You cannot go in normally.

They sent two cutters out. One was put in front of us and one behind us. We surfed down the waves. They timed it and said that when the boat in front turns left, you turn left. We did.

After that, motored up the channel, tied up at the YC and went to sleep. Pancakes the next day in Morro Bay and then Point Conception (I've been turned back by Point Conception going north several times) was easy + beautiful.

The Coasties? They do this every day.


> Translate Point Conception from Spanish to English and you get the idea.

Translates to the same thing? I don't get it.


You are conceived via a certain act that starts with an 'f'.

May have confused the interesting translation with Punto Abreojos / open eyes / “eye opener” a bit further south in Baja.

> The skipper had bought a $100 genoa

What is a genoa in this context?


An oversized foresail that isn't a great idea in high wind.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genoa_(sail)


I just called it a genoa; it might have been closer to a gennaker or not. It was disposable, not even a delivery sail. But it felt fine.

With the exception of the gybe, we felt in control but with Point Conception approaching we wanted to pull in and we thought Morro Bay was the best idea. With some more thought, experience and planning, we might have been able to sneak into San Luis Obispo Bay. I recall now that half the crew, the skipper included, were seasick.

These are the sort of questions you need to work through before you leave port, especially in seas. The Coast Pilot is a good resource.


No kidding, they should have had a jib up, and reefed both sails in 30 knots, even downwind. In high seas and high winds, you can easily broach with a genoa up. I've done it. We had to cut the genoa sheet to right the boat. Good times!

I legit felt I was reading an excerpt from a Steinbeck novel. Had to read the other replies to confirm that I wasn't

EPIRBs are incredibly handy devices in an emergency. Unlike SPOT trackers and such, the response is managed and coordinated by the US military. If your EPIRB signal makes it out, someone will come looking for you.

They work on dry land, too. Very useful to have if you like to do trips to the desert backcountry. I ended up purchasing a satellite phone after ditching my SPOT tracker but if I had to do it over, I'd just buy the EPIRB.

The marine versions activate automatically when dropped in the water. Typically, on a sailboat, you would lash it somewhere on deck where it would pop up to the surface and activate if the boat sinks. The outside of a life raft shell is one such spot.


> the response is managed and coordinated by the US military.

Who is responsible will vary around the world. If you're at sea it will likely be some sort of coast guard or possibly even a navy, but on land it's often a civilian agency charged with rescuing people who've got into trouble far from civilisation or even handed off to volunteers.

COSPAS/SARSAT (the satellite technology that makes these beacons work) is a rare example of Cold War co-operation on technology for peaceful ends. Hence why SARSAT makes obvious sense in English (Seach And Rescue SATellite) while COSPAS is Russian.

Before all this starts, there are analogue radio beacons. Those are pretty dumb, you can still find them in some personal planes flown by pilots too cheap to upgrade - they just play a siren tone on a fixed reserved frequency when triggered. If somebody is tuned to the reserved frequency and close enough, they can hear your beacon, with some pretty easy technology a group can triangulate and find the emergency. Might save your life, if people are searching and if you can survive maybe a day or two while they look.

COSPAS/SARSAT says wait, we have satellites, put a radio "mirror" on a satellite at that frequency, and now we don't have to search any more. We sit at the ground station for the satellite, we hear distress beacon sirens from existing beacons on the ground, we can use mathematics to work out based on where the satellite is and the Doppler effect where the radio beacon is in a few minutes.

That works up to a point, but there sure is a lot of other junk that's broadcasting (intentionally or not) on the reserved frequency, and you've got no idea when your rescue helicopter scrambles are you going to find: A small plane with no filed fight plan and six badly injured people? One lone hiker who is just lost in the hills? A pile of garbage somebody threw out which happens to include a radio beacon with just barely working batteries? Could be anything. Almost always it was nothing. That's expensive and bad for morale.

So, modern COSPAS/SARSAT beacons are digital, and the satellites are now smarter. The beacon has a unique identifier and if fitted with or connected to a suitable receiver (very common on boats and somewhat common elsewhere) it can transmit its GPS co-ordinates.

This means now the base station isn't trying to guess if this is a beacon with a low battery or a garage door opener, they know instantly it's beacon #4843931 and it says it's fourteen miles off the north coast of Scotland. This cut false alarms by an order of magnitude at least, and reduced search time to almost zero. False alarms are still the majority of all alerts though - emergencies don't happen that often and humans are lazy and incompetent leading to false alarms.

The current work on COSPAS/SARSAT is return link. Right now you trigger the beacon and then... maybe you get rescued. But that's not great emotionally and we know in some emergencies hope is key to survival. Is anybody coming? If you're clinging to the wreck of a yacht ten minutes can seem like an hour, surely the beacon you triggered just isn't working? So return link is a mechanism by which GPS messages are used to tell your beacon "Received. Rescue coming" and perhaps some day more complicated messaging like "Cannot Land. Ground team on its way to you. Stay here".


I have volunteered for a marine SAR service in the U.K. and I’ve been on shouts looking for these things. We once looked for the old fashioned kind where you only get the location to within 50-100nm at first, with it getting a bit more accurate every 30(?)mins as the satellite passes over again. Searched all night only to find it fell of a shelf in someone’s shed.

In case anyone is interested here’s a simplified version of what happens if a beacon goes off in a U.K. sea area. The coastguard marine rescue coordination centre receives the alert, depending on the type of EPIRB initially the information could be as little as the location to within 100nm. If they get an ID number they look up the details to see which vessel/aircraft it’s registered to and they call the person listed on the register to find out if it’s an accidental activation. Meanwhile they are starting the process of tasking search and rescue units. Unless it can be confirmed it’s an accidental activation they will request at least one RNLI lifeboat and typically task a coastguard helicopter as well. They can also broadcast a Mayday on channel 16 to oblige all vessels nearby to take part in the search. The lifeboat service is a charity which is independent from the government so the coastguard has to contact the launch authority for the closest lifeboat station, the LA agree to be tasked and at that point crew pagers go off. The crew tumble out of bed (or work) and run or drive to the station. From at work or asleep at home to fully kitted up doing 25kts at sea is about 10mins. The coastguard can set our pagers off directly to save a few minutes if it’s super urgent, but the decision to put to sea is still made by the RNLI. Our patch extends out into the Atlantic as far as our range will take us, about 125nm at full speed, and about 30 mins north or south to the next boat’s patch. A fairly typical shout will see us on scene in under 45mins from launch. In our location the helicopter usually makes it there at about the same time as us give or take 10mins. The longest shout I’ve been on is 18 hours. A more typical one would be 3-4hours and our boat has two 1600hp diesels so we might use 1000 litres of diesel (costing about £500), about 1/6th of the tank mostly in getting there and back. The boat has a crew of 7. Apart from the Coxswain (the RNLI word for skipper) and the Mechanic the crew are all unpaid volunteers, we get a token amount of money per hour at sea, maybe £1, not sure. There is a pool of about 25 crew and we train for about 4 hours per week. As to what we can do when we get there. Our training covers seamanship, things like rope work, navigation, watch keeping, emergency drills. But also specific SAR techniques and equipment. So we have things like a portable salvage pump that can shift about 1m³ in 1-2minutes, line throwing rockets, crane launched daughter craft for shore search, breeches buoy etc. Most of the crew have also done basic medical training, things like CPR, giving oxygen or entonox, inserting airways, bag valve mask, tourniquets, combat bandages, etc. We work in close coordination with the coastguard helicopter and with land based paramedics. Our boat is pretty specialised, RNLI all weather lifeboats are designed to survive a capsize and self right again afterwards and we have customised diesel engines that can operate upside down at idle power for short periods of time. As such we can go to sea in pretty much any conditions.


I've lived a good part of my life in IJmuiden/Heemskerk in NL, near Wijk aan Zee where one of the SAR stations for the region is located. The North Sea can be pretty nasty in that area (well, the sea can be nasty anywhere but the particular underwater geometry makes that area quite dangerous even in good weather).

My office overlooked the main waterway and what always struck me is that if there was bad weather incoming you could see all the pleasure craft and the merchants that could make it in time make a beeline for the harbor and the locks while - not all that rare - the pilots and the SAR vessel were going the other way, straight into the worst of it.

Most impressive.


One upside to tools like the Garmin (and I _think_ the newest SPOT) is you get 2-way communication. This is good to describe your specific need (helicopter evac vs 2 people on foot to carry a stretcher) and location (are you stuck on the side of a cliff for example).

I had a motorcycle accident in Tajikistan and it was invaluable. I wrote to a friend who could check the available options for me. I'm really glad I had it with me. Unfortunately I forgot it in a taxi a bit further down the road.

Beautiful story, although not sure what he was doing at sea in such conditions.

The take away for me is that discovering the goodness in people's heart when you've lost everything is worth more than all our junk.


The article said the area he normally anchors in was expected to get rough, so he headed for what should have been a more protected area. He was anchored in that area, and his boat didn't right itself in the wind like it always had before.

When things go bad on a boat, they go bad fast. The skiff he planned to hop in and get to shore sank before he could get into it. He did get his survival suit on, which kept him alive long enough to be rescued.

This is a 70 year old man who's spent his life fishing in the area. This was his day where almost everything went wrong. But he'd done enough right on his boat, and in his training, to set himself up for rescue.

I live in Sitka, where the helicopter crew that did this rescue is based. We hear stories about these kinds of rescues all the time. People have deep respect for USCG personnel here.


As a former Coastie I appreciate you saying this.

Oftentimes, we find government resources wasted for little value. Many a life, however, from pollution, man’s violence, or the intemperance of the sea, has been saved by the Coast Guard.

An overlooked service I feel, nearly two decades since I left.


I've been a volunteer on our local mountain rescue team for almost 20 years, and a couple times a year I get to fly with a USCG helo crew to help people in the mountains. It is such a privilege as a civilian to get to fly with USCG crews; working with them has been one of the highlights of my life.

Thank you for your service, and your colleagues' as well. I agree, most people have no idea how hard USCG personnel train, and what goes on when they head out to conduct rescues.


I’ve gone out surfing in conditions too big or rough for my skill level a few times. This was in daylight, in San Diego-warm water, in maybe 8 or 9-foot waves, within sight of the shore, and seeing the waves about to break on my head still scared the living shit out of me. I can’t imagine going out in conditions like the ones in the article. I have lots of respect for the Coast Guard folks who go out into that stuff to help others.

Thank you for your service.

You would enjoy the children's picture book, "Father, May I Come" by Peter Spier [1], as it tells the story of Dutch costal rescue in the 17th and 20th centuries. The first time I read the story to my son, I nearly cried at the selfless was the Dutch rescuers planned, trained, and thus were ready to rescue endangered seafarers.

[1] https://archive.org/details/fathermayicome00spie


Another thing that went wrong between the boat tilting and the skiff sinking was that he couldn't start the boat's engine.

And in the end he was saved by a device he didn't know had activated and whose batteries he hadn't checked in years.

But yeah, doing enough of the right things at the right time probably saved him.


I thought these were pretty regulated? Hence groups like Marine Safety Supply existing, just to check that the safety gear works, has batteries, isn't degraded from harsh conditions, etc

No one is checking your route batteries, that’s on you. You don’t have to have one. The battery lasts about 10 years though.

> not sure what he was doing at sea in such conditions.

Things can go from 'what a nice cruise' to 'what on earth am I doing here' in about 15 minutes.

I once nearly drowned on IJsselmeer during a rigging test that was supposed to last a half hour and that ended with a severely damaged boat because of a storm that materialized extremely rapidly and out of nowhere.


An older man once told me that, "sometimes things own you". I didn't understand at the time (I was younger), but now I know exactly what he meant.

You're not supposed to talk about that.

using throwaway for this.

>The problem that I’m having is, I don’t know, I don’t exactly have a goal for the rest of my life

I can attest to this. I grew up in a very middle class family in a third world country and had been chasing my dreams - become a successful entrepreneur in silicon valley. I worked insanely hard for this, compromising on personal relationships, health, everything. And then, one day, I become successful. Very, very successful. I am quite wealthy now and the wealth will last generations. I am well known in the industry I work in. But it had been a struggle after I achieved success. I found myself depressed. And just last month I was put on medications.

Turns out, this is very common problem when you had been chasing your dreams all your life. Like climbing a mountain. Once you have climbed to the top, that's it. You enjoy it for a while and then you start thinking ..now what?


One way to get some sort of reset without giving up everything you've worked towards is to hike out and camp in backcountry. You're only taking what you can carry, so you leave a whole lot behind. If you're still in California, you have a lot of options within striking distance.

There isn't really a pinnacle with the backcountry or walking on the ground - there's always a longer trail or more distant target.


Yeah, not really. Like in the story in the link, and more so in the movie "Castaway" there is a big difference to what you will undergo if you are saved in a reasonable timeframe and when you DON'T get saved within that timeframe or get saved at all.

If Tom Hanks in Castaway got saved in a month or two he would mostly dust himself off and have a GREAT story to tell.

But he didn't and now he's both kinda alive and not alive and kinda weird to himself and other people. Humans go through some weird stuff when hooked off civilization. Even within the civilization some people fall through the "cracks". What those cracks are I do not know.

Resets are not for the faint of heart, and really shouldn't be messed with.


I'm talking about going camping for a few days every now and then as a change of pace. And about how in hiking there is no summit that ends your pursuit - you can find another hike or do something longer if you're keen. You appear to be talking about people getting lost in life and death situations.

This reminds me of a cartoon I saw a long time ago. Wile E. Coyote had finally caught and eaten the road runner. Now his life had no meaning, and he was slowly drinking himself to death. Don’t end up like Wile.

I think there's plenty of interesting new goals you could work towards that wouldn't necessarily be an easy thing due to your wealth. Try to become well known for something else. Start a youtube channel on something unrelated to your business. It could be about cosplay, blacksmithing, or a million other things that are not obvious money makers and don't need to be for you. I find that content creators work really hard but also find it extremely rewarding, and I think you'd find that it exercises different muscles that you aren't used to.

I can think of so many things I'd try if I were wealthy. I'd produce a fantasy movie or TV show. I'd get my pilot license. I'd learn to sail and have a multimonth voyage. I'd setup my own creative studio to build practical effects for film and tv. I'd buy land and learn bushcraft on it and build a little castaway home using only the land.

None of these have anything to do with my career in tech. Do you not have anything similar for yourself?


If you think back to the things you imagined you'd do when you got wealthy... can you do them now? I would imagine the answer is one of three things: 1) you've forgotten about them, 2) you can do them but have found that they really aren't very satisfying, or 3) they're actually impossible no matter how much money you have.

I'm just curious. And also, I sincerely hope you find happiness.


Not the OP, but I can answer some of your questions. I made enough about 15 years ago to never have to work again. It didn't take long to learn the following lessons:

1. Not working gets boring fast. In less than six months I was casting about for something to do. I still work, not because I have to, but because it gives me a reason to get up in the morning. It's not working that sucks, it's having to work that sucks.

2. You can get used to anything, and hardly anything is as nice in reality as it is in your imagination. The trappings commonly associated with money -- houses, cars, private jets -- the charm wears off shockingly quickly and it starts to feel like a burden and a PITA. The houses all need to be furnished and maintained. The cars get old and need to be maintained. Even private jet travel is not all it's cracked up to be. Today we have one house, we drive old, boring, but incredibly reliable Japanese cars, and we fly commercial (though I have to admit that being able to go business class is awfully nice).

Money is just a lever. If you focus all your mental energy into acquiring the leverage without ever giving any thought to where you want to pry, you can end up badly lost.


> In less than six months I was casting about for something to do. I still work, not because I have to, but because it gives me a reason to get up in the morning.

Damn. I read the same thing from a lot of people on HN over the years and I'm envious.

I think I could easily and happily just not work for the rest of my life (in my 30s). I did exactly that for more than a year, living off my savings after being laid off. It was fantastic.

For six more months after that, I worked a couple of hours a week contracting, as the savings started to dry up. But I wasn't even close to wanting to work again. Maybe it would happen in 3-5 years? Who knows, but I certainly wouldn't want to do it full time. Which is where I'm back at, currently (working as a software engineer).


> I did exactly that for more than a year, living off my savings after being laid off. It was fantastic.

Really? How did you spend your time?


(Note - it was pre-covid).

Martial arts, strength training, social dancing (I also gave lessons occasionally), reading fiction, going out to concerts/pubs, dates with my GF, video games, watching tv shows/youtube, hacker news.

Daytime coffee dates with friends - if both don't have to work those can easily stretch to 2-3 enjoyable hours. Lot of sleeping (9 hours/day, sometimes more). Weekend hiking trips - much better if you don't have to wake up for work on Friday and Monday.

Travel would have been great, but I didn't want to overspend since I didn't have any income. If all of that got boring I would have tried to join an amateur band (used to play guitar long time ago).

I guess I'm just describing a student life without the classes, lol.


> if both don't have to work

That's one big problem right there. Everyone I know works. I don't know if this is because they all have to, or because, like me, they choose to. All I know is that they all do. (Actually, that's not quite true. I know one couple who is retired. But I don't know anyone my age (mid-fifties) who doesn't work.

One thing I do is take jobs with flexible schedules, so mostly consulting gigs nowadays. If I want to take a Monday off, I just do it. But I find that if I'm out of the loop for too long, I want back in. I find it tremendously valuable to have someone counting on me to deliver something precisely so I dont spend all day watching YouTube, which I could very easily do. But when I do that, I feel useless, and I don't like feeling useless.

But that's just me, I guess.

One other thing that makes it work for me (no pun intended): I don't have kids. If I did, I would probably be focusing a lot more energy on them.


> Money is just a lever. If you focus all your mental energy into acquiring the leverage without ever giving any thought to where you want to pry, you can end up badly lost.

Words to remember.


> Money is just a lever. If you focus all your mental energy into acquiring the leverage without ever giving any thought to where you want to pry, you can end up badly lost.

Agreed. In other words, money is just a linguistic tool for communicating value. So, what do you say with how you use (or don't use) this tool?

How do you express your core beliefs, convictions, or values with toul use of money? What are you trying to do ("pry") with this tool?


you can undergo a process of self-discovery and become a mentor to the people around you. and work on building back some of what you sacrificed to get here.

Congratulations!


I am doing that and have been donating both time and money to various causes but it is not something that brings me inherent joy. I am just living each day as it comes, but this is nowhere close to the fanatic/adrenaline filled goal driven days I have lived.

moreover, I don't even indulge in anything expensive, so I don't even feel motivated to earn more money or spend it.


So you're the next one in line to learn that what they say is true: money doesn't buy happiness. The sweet things in life are all the things you sacrificed in the process of re-making yourself in the image of the machine you built and are part of. Get the fuck out of the bay area and start over as an artist and mystic, or just hang out with some. Find a wife among ordinary people and make babies like some blissful idiot. Learn a musical instrument. I dunno. Do things hippies say to do. The purpose of life seems to be life itself, so you would at least be making more lives, or making existing ones more pleasant. Care about others intrinsically for no reason, and most will care about you. That's all anybody wants, is to be cared for and loved. Thus far you only cared about accumulating money (or that's the only care you acted on) and anyone who cares about you probably cares only because of that, even if only as an example so they can learn how to accumulate money too. It's what you've been about, thus far, and have dedicated your life to, thus far. Congratulations on being an expert in something but now you should be a beginner.

this is good advice and this:

> anyone who cares about you probably cares only because of that, even if only as an example so they can learn how to accumulate money too.

should best be interpreted as a perspective and not a character assessment.


Absolutely. Just saying, if that's where you focus your energy, that's what'll get attention.

I'm not qualified to give spiritual guidance. You may need some years to recover from the grind that got you where you are today. my personal path of self-discovery has been fulfilling but I wouldn't say it brought me joy (yet). if you miss the adrenaline perhaps you would enjoy a competitive activity like sports or chess.

> I don't even indulge in anything expensive, so I don't even feel motivated to earn more money or spend it.

Thats probably healthy.


NewGame+. Apply the same processes of your success (minus harder sacrifices that take a toll) to a cause/goal that moves you. Doors can probably be opened much faster with your previous success and wealth, but you can just aim for a harder area to break into, or a higher impact outcome.

Can't you just pick a more ambitious goal? Like world domination? :^)

Thats a crowded, competitive space. He would risk losing what he has gained so far.

Indeed. But to be frank, I think he's lost something much more important.

Besides, he's already demonstrated he's capable of flourishing when risks are present.

I don't think the space is that crowded; who do you think is legitimately trying to establish order? It seems like the majority of the western ruling class are a bunch of old people merely trying to have a bit of fun before they die.


> But to be frank, I think he's lost something much more important.

Please continue.

> he's already demonstrated he's capable of flourishing when risks are present.

That is an excellent point.

> who do you think is legitimately trying to establish order?

I'm not sure how to go about answering this, I think the space is as crowded as its going to be because people who are more competent push out and make irrelevant people who are less relevant.

> It seems like the majority of the western ruling class are a bunch of old people merely trying to have a bit of fun before they die.

Personally I cannot think of anything more boring than a meeting of the EU Parliament, the UN, US Congress, or the CCP.


> Please continue.

I think that a loss in purpose is worse than a loss in material wealth. I'm a scrappy student working on a startup I believe in, and I would not trade places with the successful entrepreneur.

I have fun climbing mountains. So does he. I have plenty of mountains to climb, while he's surrounded by the fog and believes he has no other mountains to climb. Ergo, I'm having fun while he believes he'll never have fun again.

> That is an excellent point.

Thank you.

> Personally I cannot think of anything more boring than a meeting of the EU Parliament, the UN, US Congress, or the CCP.

I never stated they have good taste :P

In all seriousness, I wouldn't really consider politicians the ruling class. Now, I'm not an expert on this topic, but I'd wager that the billionaire entrepreneurs have more power than the US senators being paid a measly $200K/year. Suppose they have a little side-hustle and make 1M/year; that's still peanuts.


> I think that a loss in purpose is worse than a loss in material wealth.

I agree and thank you for sharing your perspective.

> In all seriousness, I wouldn't really consider politicians the ruling class. Now, I'm not an expert on this topic, but I'd wager that the billionaire entrepreneurs have more power than the US senators being paid a measly $200K/year. Suppose they have a little side-hustle and make 1M/year; that's still peanuts.

Thats true but they are part of a powerful decision making body. The people who tell them what to do are a more exclusive group. And some senators somehow end up worth $100mm, that money comes from somewhere and they don't make it by accident.


> I agree and thank you for sharing your perspective.

You're welcome

> The people who tell them what to do are a more exclusive group.

That's what I consider the ruling class. Based on my rudimentary observations, I'm unsure whether such people truly want to impose some sort of order, or are just striving to maximize their quarterly revenue. Of course, there are exceptions like the CCP.

I'm a bit sleepy so I will be going to bed, good night o/

It was nice talking to you


There’s an episode of Frasier where he wins a prestigious award for his work and he has a breakdown on stage: “I just wish I knew what the hell i was supposed to do now.” I believe it cold-ends right there.

Video games provide this lesson relatively cheaply. The next level is tantalizing but the high of winning lasts...5 minutes? 1 day? The intensity of what you describe is not felt in this example, but going through that cycle 20 times is instructive.

Another way to look at it: In life/happiness, optimize for the area under the curve, not for a single high point.


Time to get some personal relationships and health back then. And/or start some new projects in things you find significant, but not necessarily the most profitable. Kind of like the WhatsApp Founder donating to the Signal App and and being involved with it.

Maybe you could make a fellow depressed and not-successful-at-all HNer happy by sharing 0.1% of your wealth? :)

... I wish I was joking :(


"You fool, this very night your soul will be required of you..." (Luke 12:13-21)


Imagine losing all your stuff in an accident. Then imagine all the strain the production of all that stuff had on the environment. When you are dry, warm and have a few high quality pieces of clothing, you are pretty much set. Add some seriouscrelationships and some good friends, and you are probably not to unhappy. This survivor in Alaska lost a floating home, but got some new friends and a new life.

It's been a recurring theme here on HN, but yeah he'd be unhappy. One thing missing from the checklist is the social status and all the elaborate signaling that goes with it. The "good friends" and especially "relationships" might never materialize or sustain themselves without the status.

Less social people often overlook that part, I know that I do.


"Only after disaster can we be resurrected. It's only after you've lost everything that you're free to do anything. Nothing is static, everything is evolving, everything is falling apart." — Tyler Durden in Fight Club

"The shipping news" brought to life. One lucky man, EPIRB battery done saved him.

I think he had a pretty decent chance either way honestly. He was in a survival suit, out of the water, and managed to go for 3 hours without ending up in the drink. Add the fact that it isn't open ocean, I think he's a pretty resourceful dude.

> Brodersen, the survivor, was fortunate to get to Ketchikan’s PeaceHealth Medical Center when he did. He’d had a heart attack, and was suffering from hypothermia and cold-induced rhabdomyolysis — a kind of muscle death.

Disagree. This is near-death for anyone, especially a 70-year-old.


Yeah, his health condition wasn’t great, and the epilepsy is an added element. However, watch the video and it seems like he’s pretty active, not on the brink of death.

Physically saved by the EPIRB and Coast Guard, spiritually saved by his great attitude and perspective.

"The Coast Guard says there’s no trace of the Irony."

I see what you did there. I wonder if the article's author intended the same.

It's such an obvious pun, especially without the italics or quotes, it would be really hard to miss it while you're writing the text yourself!

It would be such a waste if the author appended the horrible "(pun intended)".


"For Southeast Alaska shipwreck survivor, losing irony has been ‘sort of liberating’"

US Coast Guard: balls of steel



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