90

On the other hand, this part I applaud


 

200912011610.jpg

No lifejacket, because none is necessary. God bless the prime minister for setting a good example to the nation’s kids. Minimal risks do not require maximal protection.


 

On the other hand, this part I applaud

  1. LMAO, nice one.

  2. Indeed. It's not the law, it's just a good idea.
    Now we see which of those concepts Mr. Harper prefers to subscribe to.

  3. Listen, the guy can walk on water right? So, no need for a life jacket.

  4. Yeah, this is stupid my husband would so do the same thing , Is that a man thing or what?

  5. I am Spartacus!

  6. OMG! PM does not have a life jacket on, whatever next!

    PM Harper please do not run with scissors, or shoot your eye out, because we will never hear the end of it from the humourless scolds that are Canadians.

  7. Unlike those sissy Canadian Forces personnel who are ferrying Harper? Does Harper also not wear his seatbelt when being driven around Ottawa?

    Whadda role model.

    • The Forces guys are without doubt bound by some sort of military regulation. The PM is a free man.

      • I imagine the regs probably call for lifejackets at all times- and the sailors probably don them in the same sort of unconscious instinct that they would battle rattle during divisions, or roll their sleeeves up the regulation number of times :).

      • I'd argue on both points — big oil expects action for their hard-soiled dollars, and most men will stand up and take their lumps without hiding behind the armed forces.

  8. Where is Jaws when you need him?

  9. "God bless the prime minister for setting a good example to the nation's kids."

    Don't gush. You'll lose credibility.

    Anyway, I thought it was the parents role to raise their kids?

  10. We're talking about a dude who doesn't wear safety goggles when using a nail gun either. The man is a walking Elmer the Safety Elephant video.

  11. As we liked to say on the construction site, "Safety Fourth!"

  12. Laureen left no doubt where she is on this one, and it's not with Coyne.

  13. Laureen left no doubt where she is on this one, and it's not with Coyne.

  14. Oh Mr. C – this is quite possibly the silliest thing you've ever written. Remind me not to recommend you as a babysitter.

  15. I think while on the job the PM should take minimal percautions, when available, to guard against dire if unlikely consequences. It's unlikley something bad will happen, but it could be really bad if it does, and it only takes a minute to put on a lifejacket.

  16. I get your point, and fair enough, but I still found that picture quite odd. I can't for the life of me imagine a picture of the President of the United States on a Navy zodiac on the Pacific, on his way to visit an American warship providing protection for a summit, in which the President of the United States is the only person in the boat without a life jacket.

  17. And if that boat had hit a partially submerged item? (http://www.americanboating.org/speed_kills.asp)

    I don't see a life jacket as an unreasonable burden. If he had been ejected from the boat due to a collision, a properly fitted lifejacket would keep him afloat (face up) even if he's unconscious.

  18. Very true, but I don't see why said regulation shouldn't also be applied to the leader of our government. It just seems extremely odd to me that the person who is A) the head of our government, and B) arguably the least likely to fair well should he go over the side of anyone on that boat, is simultaneously the ONLY ONE not wearing a life jacket.

    Also, perhaps it makes us more "macho" but I can't for the life of me imagine the President of the United States on a zodiac, on his way to visit an American warship on security duty, being the only person in the boat without a life jacket.

  19. Too bad, he wasn't carrying a 24 with him. Doesn't that just prove he's not a boating guy!

  20. Why is it that the name Harold Holt rises unbidden to the mind?

  21. Indeed, it's not the law, it's just the smart thing to do.

    • Not to worry — his pocket full of communion wafers will render him unsinkable…

  22. I doubt most private sector companies wouldn't insist employees wear safety equipment while under their employ. What you do on your own time, is on your own dime.

  23. And a pterodactyl might have swooped down and snatched him up in its claws! The question is, is it likely?

  24. Stephen Harper "Where a life jacket? That's what the other guy would do".

  25. You can't imagine it because the Commander in Chief arrives in a helicopter with hundreds awaiting his arrival or on his own aircraft carrier, not in a zodiac with bob and pete.

  26. Heh… I'd never heard of Harold Holt before I googled him just now. Interesting story – the Australian PM who drowned in 1967.

    From wiki:

    Ignoring his friends' pleas not to go in, Holt rashly plunged into the boiling surf and soon disappeared from view. Fearing the worst, his friends raised the alert. Within a short time the beach and the water off shore was being searched by a large contingent of police, Royal Australian Navy divers, Royal Australian Air Force helicopters, Army personnel from nearby Point Nepean and local volunteers. This quickly escalated into one of the largest search operations in Australian history,[4] but no trace of Holt could be found.

    Two days later, on 19 December 1967, the government made an official announcement that Holt was presumed dead. The Governor-General Lord Casey sent for the Country Party leader and Coalition Deputy Prime Minister John McEwen, and he was sworn in as caretaker Prime Minister while the Liberals elected a new leader.

  27. I don't like to wish any one harm but it would have been awesome for conspiracy theorists if Harper disappeared over the side.

  28. Perhaps it's an indication of just how fond our military really is of Harper. :)

  29. Where's Mulletaur? Undoubtedly he'll blame Harper the next time a Canadian citizen drowns without a lifejacket. ;-)

  30. Say, a question someone more knowledgeable than I can answer.

    The Canadian warship was supposedly patrolling the area as a part of the security detail for the Commonwealth meetings. If there was in fact a security risk, and Harper was one of the delegation being protected, what is he doing out there in a zodiac in the first place?

  31. Lessee.. 30 seconds to a minute to put on a life vest vs. off-chance of a wayward wave knocking the zodiac and sending our Prime Minister into the water at high speeds.

    Were it anybody else, I'd be appalled.. as it is, I find myself wistful.

  32. good picture though the image works and it looks to me like he is having a gas

  33. I have no doubt that in the unlikely event that something were to have happened to put Mr. Harper into the water, his security detail is entirely capable of extracting him again from the water.

    Having a Personal Floatation Device in the boat is required. Wearing it at all times is not, and is unnecessary much of the time, including the time pictured.

  34. Oh, I'm 1000% sure he was safe. If he had gone over the side (highly unlikely) I'm completely confident that one of the gentlemen with him would have had him back in the boat almost before he got wet.

    I still find the whole thing odd though.

  35. No.

    Dinosaurs are extinct. Your pterodactyl scenario is not likely at all.

  36. Shorter version: he went down, under.

  37. Pres in helicopter is not same as pm going 15 mph over calm water.

    Surely one of life's great pleasures is going fast on water without a life jacket. Does there have to be a regulation for every activity imaginable?

  38. This is something I thought a little bit about myself. Maybe there's little chance of Harper going over the side on his own, but is there really no possibility at all that someone might be looking for an opportunity to MAKE him go over the side?

    I know if I read this story from a cave in Afghanistan I'd be circling the next time the PM was likely to be on a zodiac. They don't even really have to take out the boat. With no life jacket, they just have to force the PM over the side while knocking him unconscious.

    Not very likely at all, but still, while as a general rule I love the openness and accessibility of our leaders in Canada, every once in a while I see a picture and think, "No one in their right mind would EVER let the President of the United States get into that situation". I mean, did anyone in the RCMP even SUGGEST he put on a life jacket?

  39. Sadly, when your PM you just don't get to partake in all of life's great pleasures.

    I do agree that the President in a helicopter is much different from the PM in an open zodiac though. The helicopter seems much more secure to me.

  40. Having a gas or got gas? It's a photo-op – can't have a silly think like a life jacket crumpling his suit. Now, wearing a suit and tie looks really silly.

  41. "They don't even really have to take out the boat. With no life jacket, they just have to force the PM over the side while knocking him unconscious."

    How are they going to do that? Throw rocks from the shore?

  42. Just visiting a boat!

  43. Somewhere I saw an uncropped copy of this photograph which showed several more people in business suits without life jackets.

    I also seem to remember seeing pictures of PM Harper in Afghanistan wearing the appropriate 'life jacket'.

    Perhaps those tasked with guarding him set the rules based on their knowledge of the danger? The criticism is bogus, but I agree with Mrs. Harper — he shoulda wore the thing.

  44. Hey, look, I realize it's highly unlikely, but still.

    There was a time when one would have said "Yeah, right, a bunch of guys in a dingy might blow up an American warship in port… pass me some of what you're smoking".

  45. :-)

    Of course, I take your point, I just don't think "untrained, slightly out of shape, middle aged man loses grip, falls off the side of a zodiac and is knocked unconscious" is such a terribly improbable scenario.

    And it's certainly not "Scientists resurrect dinosaurs by cloning their DNA, and one of said dinosaurs subsequently flies away with the Prime Minister of Canada" improbable, lol.

    • I guess microfibre jackets and striped ties have evolved enough to learn to swim…

  46. Ha! Good one.

  47. You, as usual, give Harper far more credit than [I think.] he deserves.

    I'll hazard a guess that the only reason Harper is not wearing a personal flotation device is because this was a staged photo-op and Harper and his image consultants are absolutely petrified that a Gilles Duceppe hairnet moment might occur.

    Occam's bloody razor.

  48. I bet it also makes the guys job of retrieving a downed passenger easier if the passenger is wearing a life jacket.

  49. There are no pteradactyls! But there are submerged objects.

  50. Just spent the last 30 minutes scouring the Internet for data:

    The top ten frequent Boat Insurance claims are –

    1 Striking a submerged object while cruising
    2 Theft while moored
    3 Collision while cruising
    4 Storm damage while moored
    5 Theft while laid up
    6 Accidental damage while cruising
    7 Flood whilst moored
    8 Sinking whilst moored
    9 Negligence of owner whilst cruising
    10 Accidental damage whilst moored
    http://lookboatinsurance.blogspot.com/2009/08/top

    There have been 405 attempts to cross an ocean under human power.
    Of the 156 attempts that failed, 1 was due to striking a submerged object, breaking the rudder.

    http://www.adventuresofgreg.com/HPB/2009_09_01_ar

    So according to that, there is a 1 in 405 chance of striking a submerged object when crossing the ocean! I know that it is a small sample set. But even so, out of 405 attempts there was 1 hit? Damn.

    Imagine hitting that object at speed!

  51. …his image consultants are absolutely petrified that a Gilles Duceppe hairnet moment might occur.

    I think they were a little more concerned of another repeat of this.

    While I'm sure it was more about the image, it's also possible he just felt it wasn't worth the effort. Ironically he looks like a bit of a knob in the picture, and by not bothering with the few seconds it takes to put on the jacket he ended up generating more bad press, no matter how trivial.

  52. Yes, Harper is free to make the military personnel look like a couple of sissy boys beside him. Yeah, the guy won't even put on standard safety equipment in an attempt to show the troops he is "proud of you, and I stand beside you."

    Deflect the blame onto them, make them look foolish, I'm <sarcasm>sure</sarcasm> the military is glad Harper supports the troops! :)

  53. This stunt is just a diversion.
    SH has had some bad publicity lately, so he is shaking up the media with a *no lifejacket* photo – op.
    Maybe the boat wasn't even in the water? Easy enough to photo shop a photo.

  54. Good one

  55. He's not the only one without a life jacket,
    he's the only one the media wanted to be shown without a lifejacket,
    and have cropped the pic.

  56. If Harper had worn a life jacket,
    would that pic have gotten so much media attention?

  57. LOL

    I wondered if you'd comment on this Mr. Coyne!

    I did wonder when looking at that photo though, while no life jacket may be "necessary" is it not perhaps true that one is "required". I mean, I presume that the CF personnel in the photo are wearing flotation devices because it is required of them while on board a zodiac, so I was somewhat surprised that they did not require the PM to wear one as well.

    Besides which, even given your libertarian stance on the wearing of personal flotation devices on personal recreational watercraft on, say, Lake Ontario, surely we might expect that a higher standard might legitimately be applied to a Canadian Forces craft on an actual Ocean (correct me if I'm wrong about where that is, but I presume it's the Pacific). I mean, sure, I shouldn't be required to wear a life jacket while paddling my canoe in Algonquin park but A) I'm not the Prime Minister, B) there's no separate regulation stipulating that everyone else in my canoe has to wear one, and C) there's almost no chance whatsoever that Al Qaeda could see my canoe as a tempting target.

    As I've said in other places where I've commented about this, I don't remotely mean my inquiry to come off as any sort of "attack" on either Harper or the service members with him, but the vision of the leader of our government on a zodiac on open water in which the Prime Minister is the ONLY PERSON not wearing a life jacket seemed extremely odd to me. I can't imagine a picture of the President of the United States on a Nazy zodiac at sea in which the President is the only person in the boat not wearing a life jacket (and I imagine if such a photo surfaced that the Secret Service would have a fit).

    Also, an much more importantly, I'd like to make jokes about the PM going over the side (and to have laughed at that fact, had it actually happened) but I don't feel I can do either in good conscience while he's not wearing a life jacket.

  58. I think while on the job the PM should take minimal percautions, when available, to guard against dire if unlikely consequences. It's unlikley something bad will happen, but it could be really bad if it does, and it only takes a minute to put on a lifejacket.

  59. In a summer roofing job, the watchword was: if you find yourself falling, consider yourself fired on the way down.

  60. do you truly believe that wearing a lie jacket amounts to "maximal protection"?

    • Was that a typo, or did our scientists actually invent a thing that would truly solve most of our problems?

  61. He was sitting between two highly trained Navy professionals, who were entrusted with his life. I'm sure he was safe.

  62. LOL,

    I guess so.

    For the record though, when the President's on that helicopter, you know what he's wearing?

    A life jacket.

  63. That would be nice to see. Certainly I'd find the pic a whole lot less strange if the PM wasn't the only person in it not wearing a life jacket.

  64. As the link I provided shows, it is possible. What likelihood makes it probable, I do not know. However I do know that likely and impossible are two different things.

    Humans are horrible at accurately conducting on the spot risk assessments. That is statistically proven. Also, if we are going to talk statistics, at what odds of occurrence should "likely" events determine a behaviour? 1 in 100? 1 in 1000? 1 in 1000000? etc.

    About the only thing we can apply is the cost/benefit ratio. Cost to put on a life vest. 0$ Benefit of wearing one. priceless.

    Cost of not having one. Individual death, impact on his immediate family and friends never-mind the impact on the country. The costs of his death at sea is high. The cost to mitigate that death with a life-vest is 0.

    Can he die in other ways in that boat even wearing a life-vest? Absolutely. But isn't he measurably safer wearing one? I don't have the data offhand, but I'm confident its an order of statistical magnitude.

  65. LKO,

    The boat is anchored off Trinidad.

    The CF are probably required to wear lifejackets- but unlike Harper, they would regularlay engage in exercises on calm water that could easily flip some-one out of the boat. Although those boats are just 'rubber dinghys- they have rigid hulls (they're called rigid hull inflatable boats or RHIBS), and they'll have a lot of horses on the back. So even on flat waters, you can intentionally knock someone out of the boat who is not holding on pretty easily. I'm speaking from a little experience here- I've had tens of hours on very similar boats, in fact the RHIBs the Navy used to use, which evenetually ended up in the Sea Cadet system for sail instructors.

    However, if they're picking up a VIP on calm seas, ovbiously they're not going to be practicing emergency stops/turns for example. The high speed isn't really a factor here- boats actually tend to get more stable when their hull gets up on a plane.

    In fact, I suspect that if there aren't a lot of media cameras around, or high ranking officers, the lifejacket protocol might not be there.

    Of course, in this situation, where a highranking officer (that guy with more than one gold bar on his shoulders is officer tasked to personally pick up the PM, and It looks like at least two thick stripes, a Lieutenant) is around, and even more so, when the PM & media circus is around…..the sailors will ovbiously be trying to portray an extremely professional image- whether or not this is actually reflective of their protocols is unknown.

    An interesting detail- the PM is the only one who needs to hold on :).

  66. LKO,
    I comment on the impossibility of someone sitting in Harper's position going over the side downthread.
    Short version- no matter how the boat accelerates, if Harper is caught off gaurd, he ends up ignobly sprawled in the bow*, not over the side.

    *If you ever want a slightly cruel, but highly effective way of teaching people the necessity of teaching non-seamen the necessity of holding on in a small boat (a more relevant precaution to stablize yourself to get ready for acceleration, which Harper is doing)…..just power up or down really quickly, and after a few times of them getting a sore ass* by being thrown straight into the bottom of the boat (not over the side!), they'll learn to hold on.

    *Results will vary depending on the good humour of the occupant, and your own authority :)

  67. Hey Catelli,
    You're aware that 'under human power' means…..rowing right?

    I don't have to imagine hitting an object at that speed- I've done it in real life quite a few times, in bota that size of the almost exact same desing (discontinued Navy RHIBS), steel boats, fibreglass boats…… It's no big deal!
    The change in acceleraiton you feel will almost certinaly be an order of magnitude less than what the cox'n on the throttle is doing.

    • Heh, I wasn't clear. I meant imagine hitting that object at speed, instead of in a rowboat! In a powerboat the likelihood of passengers being ejected is quite high.

      And I also know the data chosen was a little off-beat. But that was all I could find. But I still find it fascinating that out on the ocean, human powered devices run into submerged objects. This was not what I expected to find when searching the Internet for info on "submerged object collisions". I would've thought that was the least likely result to pop up.

  68. He's clearly relying on his buoyant personality.

  69. All this is very fun, but what matters most is whether or not it was a requirement of all passengers to wear a PFD. If not, end of story (well, except for the usual suspects). If yes, he deserves to be blasted for disregarding the rules.

    So, if the boat was full of non-PFD-wearing passengers, we've all just wasted a lot of electrons.

  70. it is only in the prototype stage… but i have said too much already….

  71. I don't think anyone is still under the impression that Harper is a good role model. More often, he is an example of what not to do. Don't use crude language when addressing Canadians, don't let embarassing, partisan, ten percenters use your name and image, don't poke fun at people who like the arts, don't use the world stage to falsely attack political opponents, don't use troops for partisan games, don't keep other leaders waiting by hiding in the loo,…and, children – don't sit on the edge of a boat without a lifejacket.

    So, yes, I agree — another useful don't for children and childish adults from Canada's anti-role-model.

  72. As a landlubber I'll take your word for it that striking submerged objects is very low risk. I was just playing what-if, which we can do all day long. Point is, crap happens sometimes and there ain't nothing you can do about it.

    Put it this way, if I had to choose what was obviously unnecessary to wear that day, I would lose the tie and put on the life-jacket!

  73. You don't do enough staged photo ops. Harper thought he looked better in this photo op without a life jacket.

    kylebailey, as to the almost impossibility of losing someone out of a boat, I do hope you still require inexperienced minors to wear a life jacket if they are going to be sitting on the edge.

  74. I agree, but as I presume there's a reason the actual Navy personnel on board are wearing PFD's in that case I'd like to have the following filled out for me. "Members of the Navy are required to wear life jackets on board this type of vessel in this situation because X. The Prime Minister is not required to wear a life jacket on board this type of vessel in this situation because Y".

    • OK, here's a guess. The guys with PFD's are responsible for hooking up this boat to the mothership (throwing lines, tying things down, pulling boats together, first one to grasp the ladder to steady things, etc.). These tasks, one might suggest, are much riskier for man-overboard than the task of a passenger.

      But, like I said, it's just a guess.

  75. But what about the children?

  76. "Jack… Im Flying, Jack!"

  77. Heh, I wasn't clear. I meant imagine hitting that object at speed, instead of in a rowboat! In a powerboat the likelihood of passengers being ejected is quite high.

    You obviously have never boated in a similar craft. The motor comes out of the water, the prop is sometimes damaged, the boat decelerates, but not fast enough to throw anyone into the water. Try it sometime. I have.

    What a bunch of ninnies! He's having FUN!!

    As for wearing the life vest – should you end up in the water for ANY reason- the Pacific ocean is friggin' COLD!!! Try that sometime. You'd be better off in a wool suit, which he appears to be wearing.

  78. Heh, I wasn't clear. I meant imagine hitting that object at speed, instead of in a rowboat! In a powerboat the likelihood of passengers being ejected is quite high.

    You obviously have never boated in a similar craft. The motor comes out of the water, the prop is sometimes damaged, the boat decelerates, but not fast enough to throw anyone into the water. Try it sometime. I have.

    What a bunch of ninnies! He's having FUN!!

    As for wearing the life vest – should you end up in the water for ANY reason- the Pacific ocean is friggin' COLD!!! Try that sometime. You'd be better off in a wool suit, which he appears to be wearing.

Sign in to comment.