Saturday, November 13, 2004

Taken by the sea

Volda is not a happy place today. A student challenged the power of the nature, and lost. He went with several friends to see the waves breaking over the breakwater by Stad, the West Cape of Norway, a place where waves can rise to sudden, immense heights. One wave grabbed five students - four crawled back up. Then the four who ran to help were taken by the next wave, but managed to get back out of the water. Three were hurt, broken bones according to the news. The bay where the students were taken by the wave is used for surfing by tourists, students at the nearby school, and students from the colleges within a reasonable distance.

But this loss, so sudden, so potentially a much larger disaster, is a reminder of the indifference of the nature we live in here, the speed of the wind, the hardness of the rocks, the weight of the water, and the frail humans making a living. And it reminds us how few people live here, how precious each individual is. Voluntairs have been looking for the missing young man all day, despite the storm and sleet in one of the world's roughest and least hospitable waters.

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