Make Idiots Pay!
Libertarianism be damned! I'm proposing a new ordinance, law or regulation. Whatever you want to call it, I'd like to see some of these people pay.
How many times I've heard stories like this in the 34+ years I've lived up here, I don't know, but here we have yet another case of people going out on the North Jetty when the surf is high and a couple of them end up in the drink.
It should be common sense to stay away from the jetty when the water is rough like that but apparently some people don't have common sense. I know as a libertarian I should be more sympathetic to people making their own choices but, in this case, I think some minor things could be done to alleviate at least some future problems on the jetty.
We need to close down vehicular traffic to the North Jetty when the surf is up high. I realize that's easier said than done as people with four wheel drives and other off road vehicles could just drive around barricades. But I'm not necessarily proposing any extended barricades.
First, close the gate at the entrance to the Coast Guard Station when seas are rough. Only official vehicles and people with legitimate business at the station will be allowed in during high water.
Next, put some signs up at the entrance to the Coast Guard Station and a few all the way out to the beach with the notice that the jetty is closed to all unauthorized traffic due to hazardous conditions.
Next...here's where it gets iffy: There's no doubt that some people will go ahead and either walk or drive to the jetty anyway and I really don't want anyone to get in trouble just for going out there if they're just going to stay on terra firma and watch the ocean. It's the adventurous fools I want to nail.
So the signs should also mention something about what kind of penalty will be levied against people who end up going out on the jetty and have to be rescued. Maybe something like this:
or maybe even better:
I don't want to bother people that keep their feet dry and stay away from dangerous waters, I just want the idiots that survive to get what's coming to them.
The main problem with stuff like this is that the I know what's best for you attitude tends to take on a life of its own, as we see in the world today. And where do you draw the line? At what point is the water too rough to be deemed unsafe to allow human access to the jetty? If the jetty is closed off because it's dangerous, shouldn't we close off the rest of the beaches?
But even a simple thing like closing of the main roads to the jetty during rough seas would likely keep out some of the casual visitors. That might have helped with this last incident since three of the kids were from Nevada and might not have felt comfortable going past a closed gate.
I think they should at least start shutting off vehicle traffic to the North Jetty during rough seas as a simple first step.