After the loss of Bounty, some incidents out in California, and now this, all in such a short span of time, there are some experienced skippers out there, saying that we are nearing a tipping point where the government and USCG may start imposing more regulation on offshore operations, or even inshore recreational sailing.
We do NOT want this. There is an unwritten rule in the sport rock-climbing world that seems very appropriate to sailing as well:
The rule is, "Don't make a mess, don't make the news, and don't make paperwork for authorities." Or fun-time goes away, my friends. For everyone.
This person also made the salient point:
most of the population doesn't understand what we are doing. They are sitting on the couch staring at the tube, or sitting behind a desk goggling at the expense reports for SAR, or looking at your tattered slings marring the rock or abandoned sailboat on their beach, & certain ideas are forming in their heads. Like, "Why are we paying a ton of money to subsidize the crazy, irresponsible activities of a small group of people? Shut 'em down!"
We'd better clean up our act, or we're going to find our sport under attack, and our freedoms infringed upon.
Yes, we all make mistakes but the "Dial 911 for minor troubles" attitude is going to ruin it for all of us.
Spread the word.