Titans who lead the way
By Captain Mahmood Al Mahmood
The world stands aghast at the terrible accident of the adventure submersible, Titan, which is said to have imploded and taken the lives of the five people on board.
As a former seaman myself and coming from a long line of people with close ties to the sea, this is a tragedy that strikes close to my heart.
It replicates the horrific lessons of the original sinking of the Titanic – that no amount of boastful technology stands a chance against the inscrutable willfulness of the ocean and every encounter with Nature – whether by sea or climbing the high mountains on land or zipping through air to set a new airplane record – every adventure is fraught with the unknown w h i c h w e cannot prepare for.
Extreme sports are all the rage these days.
People sign up to trek through desert wastes, to explore icy plains, sail across unchart - ed seas and climb sheer rockfaces as part of their vacation.
The wise ones prepare for it with discipline and gruelling schedules, save up for the best equipment and seek the help of guides who have walked the path before.
The unfortunate unwise ones approach the whole thing as a fun vacay project and try to do it on the basis of a neighbourhood practice run.
This is disastrous if undertaken in a group because it endangers everybody involved.
The first rule of any extreme sport is that every rule has to be respected.
You are not on the trip to prove that you are bigger than Nature. You are there to pay homage to Nature and find within yourself the strength, mental, emotional and physical, to fulfill your goal.
But if you find yourself overwhelmed midway, the most courageous and clever thing to do is bow out.
Disasters are no respecters of wealth or status, as the original Titanic sinking and the recent Titan tragedy shows us.
Every extreme sportsman or woman is to be admired for pushing the envelope of human endurance and physical and mental grit, regardless of whether they succeed, turn back halfway to fight another day or sadly, lose their lives. We salute the victims of the Titan.
May their spirit of adventure be a beacon for us all..
Captain Mahmood Al Mahmood is the Editor-in-Chief of The Daily Tribune and the President of the Arab-African Unity Organisation for Relief, Human Rights and Counterterrorism