Survival at sea,
from the earliest times, has been achieved by a combination of common sense,
thorough training and discipline under stress. No amount of legislation—and
both federal and state governments are bursting with proposals—can insure the
safety of the vacationer who takes to the water without proper knowledge of its
treacherous ways; no precaution can guarantee the survival of the sailor who
panics when trouble strikes.
On a bright,
sunny day in Arkansas last week, two vacationing couples and their three
children piled into a 14-foot outboard for a day's fishing. The day was too
fine and the sky too clear for them to heed the gloomy warnings of the old
boatman on shore that their craft was overloaded. "Come on, let's go!"
they cried as the outboard sputtered and roared. The result? Only a few yards
from shore the badly trimmed craft struck a submerged cypress stump. Everyone
in the boat but one distracted mother was drowned.
with the picture of some 300 well-trained and sternly disciplined kids pursuing
their favorite sport on Long Island Sound a few days earlier during the New
York Yacht Club's Junior Regatta. Good sailors all, each one had been firmly
drilled by young sailing counselors in yacht clubs all up and down the Long
Island and Connecticut shores to observe a basic rule of safety: if a storm
strikes, stay with your boat.
The race was half
over when the storm did strike—a line squall ripping down from the northeast
with the suddenness of a thunderbolt. All over the course the boats were
knocked down, Lightnings, Bluejays, Thistles, 110s and the rest. All over the
course cool and collected kids busied themselves treading water and getting the
sails off the spars. Then they clung or sat on the capsized hulls and waited.
One by one, committee boats and Coast Guard cutters picked them up, wet,
stimulated, a little scared, but mostly proud.
there was one at least from a spirited young lady of 14 who didn't capsize. The
committee boat had hauled anchor to oversee the rescues—thus furnishing a
tantalizingly mobile finish line. She caught up with it, though.
Few golfers even
with a bagful of clubs would care to try their luck over a water hole as wide
as the Mediterranean with a sand trap as treacherous as the politics of Lebanon
lying just beyond it. But stanch and courtly Admiral James Lemuel (Lord Jim)
Holloway, commander in chief of U.S. naval forces in the Mediterranean and
leader of the U.S. Middle-Eastern landing force, is a fearless and resourceful
man. In more peaceful times, when not at his post in London, Lord Jim spends
leisure hours on the 7,000-yard golf course of the Wentworth Club in Surrey,
which he covers in the low 80s.
It is not for us
here to comment on the touchy situation in the Middle East, where Admiral
Holloway's relatively tiny task force now holds a portion of the world's fate
in its hands, but there may be comfort for some in the fact that, as a golfer,
the U.S. commander, a man used to doing the most with the least, faces all
hazards with but a single club—an adjustable affair which he adapts to whatever
task, drive or putt, lies ahead.