Editorial: Tragedy a sombre reminder for all

Tragedy rocked our community over the weekend, when a kayaking excursion went terribly wrong.

Two Comox Valley residents ended up in the ocean, late Saturday night.

One swam to shore, flagged down a passing motorist and a search began for the other.

The search came to a sad conclusion Sunday afternoon, with the retrieval of the missing kayaker’s body, by an RCMP dive team.

One man is dead, and his friend will forever be scarred.

The effects will be felt hardest by those two families, but the event affected many others.

It is in times like these where first responders, search and rescue volunteers, and military personnel need the help and support of those around them.

We can’t say, “They didn’t sign up for this.” The truth is, they did. It’s part of their chosen career paths, or chosen volunteer offerings. They all knew when they became involved in their respective areas of work that not every search would result in a rescue; not every missing person would be found safe and sound.

It doesn’t make dealing with situations such as this one any easier.

Some will consider their efforts over the weekend futile. Others will feel they failed. Neither conclusion is accurate. The only accuracy is that the result is not what everyone involved was hoping for.

This young man did not die because of a lack of effort or execution on the part of anyone involved in the search.

Your work is invaluable, and the service you offer this community is vital. For that, we continue to be grateful. On behalf of an entire grieving community, we thank you.

And while it is of little, if any, consolation to the family of the victim, at the very least, there is a degree of closure that can be attained. Some searches never achieve that much.

The events of this weekend are another reminder of how precious life is. Take a moment to acknowledge your friends, loved ones, and acquaintances for their bearing in your life. They won’t always be there; nor will you.

–Terry Farrell