Woman Overboard – Guest Post

September 24, 2009 by admncc

Here at The Constant Complainer, in addition to my own posts, readers can submit Guest Posts on topics they’d like to complain about.  I’d like to welcome Mark Smith with his first Guest Post.  His complaint surrounds an incident that occurred with a former girlfriend and what was said to him afterwards.  BTW, don’t forget to check out Mark’s site.  Enjoy and without further adieu, here’s Mark.

I loved the guest post from Sugar, who had an issue with the lack of reaction from her husband when confronted by a drunk hillbilly at a party.  I posted a few comments, as did readers from both sides of the issue.  This reminded me of a story of my own, one which I hope Sugar will read and respond to.  A long time ago, when I was single but in a relationship, I took my then girlfriend on a trip to Cabo San Lucas.  We stayed at a very nice resort, and when we checked in they offered us a choice of bonuses if we only took 15 minutes to view the property and listen to a presentation on their time-shares.

We did the presentation, said No Thanks, and enjoyed a free bottle of Tequila and a free trip on the “Booze Cruise” which offered free beer and a hour cruise on a catamaran.  Sounds great doesn’t it?  Everything was fun and games, until my date decided she needed to use the bathroom.  As luck or fate would have it, once she stood up the boat tilted to the same side and she fell overboard.  This is the point where the conflict begins.  I immediately shouted “Woman Overboard” at which point the teenager handing out beers that worked for the boat jumped over and swam to my girlfriend’s side.  The boat quickly turned around, slowed down, and both the passenger and crew member were helped back on board within minutes.  She was wet, but fine.  I must add that she was not wasted, as I am sure a few of you have assumed.

I also want to note that I am incredibly fast thinking in crisis situations.  I alone possessed both of our passports, all of our money, ID’s, and the hotel key.  I assessed the situation, took action, and waited for the crew to perform their duties as they have been instructed to do in these situations.  Everything was great, until the next night when we went to Carlos & Charlie’s for dinner.  While walking down the street, someone recognized us and approached us.  She looked at my date and said: “Hey, aren’t you the girl who fell overboard during the booze cruise?”  My date acknowledged her as correct.  Then the girl looks at me and asks: “And aren’t you the guy who didn’t jump in to save her?”

This not only proved to be a turning point in the vacation, but also a great cause of debate which eventually ended our relationship.  So how many of you out there would have done the same thing as I did?  How many of you would have jumped into the water, and had the crew rescue two people from the water?  What if no one knew both of us had left the boat, and we would have been floating in the ocean until another boat or sharks got to us?  I know that Sugar has to have an opinion, and I hope it is a good one.

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  1. Leo Nevoli says:

    “These are trained professionals; please don’t try this at home.” That is what you normally see before a dangerous stunt on TV. Mark, I would have done the same thing, and let the crew member rescue her. You don’t know what is in the water. You are not a trained life guard, or swimmer. Much like firefighters, if you are walking down a street and see a fire truck in front of a burning building, and someone on the top floor screaming for help, you are not going to run in and try to rescue her, because there are already professionals there. Sadly, you were in a damned if you do and damned if you don’t situation. Sure you want to show the girl you care for her, but there is a time to play hero, and in this case, you would have been risking both your lives if you jumped in. For all you know, other passengers may have though you and her jumping in was part of the “show.”

  2. NeoConDon says:

    Imagine if you would have jumped into the water and no one saw it happen…now there are two people dead. This is why the airlines tell us to place the oxygen mask on our face FIRST, then on the child’s… If you were by yourself, that would be a different story. It’s like if there’s a crime being committed against you and there’s a cop right out side, they can likely handle it…but if you need to call and wait, you must take matters into your own hands. That’s why people own firearms.

  3. Timmy says:

    I think that I can honestly say that I don’t know what I would do until put in that exact situation. And the reason is this. A few years ago on a fall afternoon, I was sitting in my living room watching football with the windows open to let the fresh fall air in and all of the sudden I hear screaming from outside. And not just normal kids screaming or someone having a fight but blood curdling horrific screaming. A woman outside my window was desperatley yelling for someone to help her. I believe it was “Please help me god, someone help me!”

    Before even thinking about it I was off of the couch out the back door hurdled off a 7 foot deck (i did not take the stairs and ended up hurting my knee) and through the back yard to the neighbors house. There were two dogs fighting in front of her and blood on her as well as the dogs. Once again without thinking I snatched the little dog away from the big dog and made sure that the woman wasn’t hurt (it was only her dog’s blood and she hadn’t been bit)

    Thinking back on the situation after it was over, I realized that I most likely did the absolute wrong thing. I should have removed the woman from the situation and then used something that wasnt my own body to break the dogs up. Putting yourself in the middle of a dog fight is not a smart move, and I could have been severly injured.

    I guess the point of my story is that your first reaction to a situation isn’t always the right one and you can’t know for sure what you would do in this type of situation until you are in it up to your neck. Jumping in the water might have been my first reaction to your situation but it could have had a horrible ending for me and my date.

    On a side note I am on my way to Cabo (so excited, any tips on fun things to do off of the resorts?) in two weeks and I might have to check out the Booze Cruise. We will be extra careful not go overboard!

  4. I would not have expected my husband to jump in after me unless he was swimming out with a flotation device and the boat was coming to pick us up. I would definitely prefer a trained crew member to swim out with the flotation device. I also understand that during the heat of the moment, some people act impulsively. You didn’t and the right things happen. It’s too bad that the girlfriend did not understand.

  5. MikeE says:

    The macho bravado in me says jump in and save the girl however we have always been taught let the professionals do their job or they will be saving 2 lives instead of 1.

    I think you did the “right” thing though not necessarily the “manly” thing. Since she is an ex-girlfriend and not your wife you also did the “best” thing.

  6. Mike N says:

    Um, yeah if you had really cared about the girl you would have jumped in. I’m sorry, but I’m not going to let some minimum wage “trained professional” punk kid do what I know damned well I should do. If you know how to swim, there’s absolutely no excuse for not jumping in the water if you care about that person. It’s called putting your own life ahead of someone elses. Would I do it for a stranger? No probably not. Anyone who says that he did the right thing by not jumping in is a coward.

    To prove my point, ask yourself this question: If it had been your child who fell in the water, would you have gone in after them? Your answer should be YES or else you have no right in being a parent. And if you’d jump in after your kid, you should jump in after anyone you supposedly love. Damn, what a bunch of cowards you all are.

    I’m thankful that I have a father who’s worth looking up to. My dad saved a child’s life from drowning because he jumped in a pool and took action while everyone else sat around waiting for trained professionals to help.

    If you’re in a position to help someone in a life-threatening emergency…don’t hesitate. Shout “Woman overboard” if you’d like, but do it while you’re jumping in after them.

  7. MajorLeague09 says:

    I have mixed feelings about this topic. In response to MikeN, I would have jumped in after my child without even having to think about it. But in this situation, it was an adult and I would have to say if my husband would have fallen overboard I would have called for help and let someone save him. And I would want him to do the same. What if the boyfriend would have jumped in after his girlfriend and dove into something under the water. Let the staff of the boat handle the situation. They know the area, and are trained to handle this type of situation. Doing the manly thing or not, would you want to be the man that jumped into the water and then needed to be saved as well. Since there were trained professionals right there, let them do there job, if the couple were alone and that happened I think the mans reaction would have been different.

  8. Yeah, I am a good swimmer so I would have let my macho self overrule my brain and jumped in. Had we both drowned, oh well. It’s not about bravery, it’s about good sense, let the experts do their job. She dumped you over this? Guess she wasn’t worth saving in the first place.

  9. NeoConDon says:

    Mike N doesn’t have any kids, so he doesn’t know what he’s talking about. Good parents have a knack of looking at everything and being able to plan things accordingly. We know when we need to jump in and when we need to trust the pro’s. It makes more sense to have the trained professionals handle it because they can get there faster and do the job. I’ve been on similar adventures, and these people are well trained. Maybe Libby takes the Walmart cruise. I’m sure she’s not the first person to fall off.

  10. Dan says:

    I have agreed in the past with Mike N. But not this time. I think if I saw her fall, I would immediately start yelling an and analyzing. Maybe I would jimp in, but maybe not. I think Mark made a good call. I’m sure all of us would agree that if it is your kid; you jump.

  11. Listen, I think your reaction speaks volumes about the relationship you were in. I think if she was “the one” you would have done what Timmy did without even computing what the safe or smart thing was at the time.

    If you are saying you sat there and computed the “no flotation device” thing and “what if no one saw us in the water” thing in that split second, I’d have to call bullshit.

    My husband fell into a stream while we were hiking about 2 years ago. He slipped on a rock and fell flat on his back. He’s 225 lbs. and I’m 120 lbs. but my gut reaction was to rush over and try to lift him out of the water to help him. He looked at me like I was crazy, but it was the mom lifting the car thing. A gut reaction to rescue the person I loved (okay, he was in 5 inches of water, but it’s just my example).

    You can rationalize your reaction now, but at the time you weren’t motivated by the raw impulse to save her. You know, the diving in front of a moving train for her thing? It’s not just in the movies. Like I said, it speaks volumes.

  12. Oh yeah, Amen Mike N.

  13. Sugar says:

    I, like you, am not incredibly fast thinking in crisis situations either. I usually kick my self afterwards because I think of what I should have done.

    In this situation, it’s hard to say. My husband cannot swim, and even though I would be terrified of jumping into the ocean,I would have been the first person to jump in the water and try to keep him afloat. But if I were the one to have fallen in, I see where he would be torn. In crisis situations, he is much better than I am. Initially he would probably want to jump in, but he would probably have done the same thing as you and called for help. It would really be pointless for someone who can’t swim to jump in the water. We don’t go on many boats, but when we do ride any type of ferry, we do scout out where the life preservers are just in case something should happen.

    This is a major situation that happened. That girl was really rude in pointing out in front of your girlfriend that you were the guy that didn’t save her. I can see where your girlfriend would be a little upset, but someone did jump in and helped her. She’s alive today. Sorry it busted up your relationship.

  14. I have to agree that I think this is one of those situations that you don’t know what you will do until it happens. I know I would have started screaming first to make sure others knew someone was overboard, after that who knows. As I am a small woman, me trying to save a big guy probably wouldn’t work. But, if I were a man who could swim I may well have jumped in after alerting others. I don’t think you did anything wrong. It’s a tough call.

  15. Mike N says:

    Thank you Jennifer Juniper for understanding that when you truly care for someone, you will put your life before theirs.

    And… To all of you idiots who keep saying that you’d wait for the professionals to do their job… Who’s to say there were any damn professionals on this cruise??? CAN ANY OF YOU IDIOTS READ? Where did the poster say anything about there being professional life guards on the cruise??? He never said there were professionals on board. In fact, he clearly states that the kid who jumped in after his girlfriend was handing out beer. DOES THAT SOUND LIKE A DAMN TRAINED PROFESSIONAL??? I THINK NOT!

    Here’s what Don had to say…
    “Mike N doesn’t have any kids, so he doesn’t know what he’s talking about. Good parents have a knack of looking at everything and being able to plan things accordingly. We know when we need to jump in and when we need to trust the pro’s. It makes more sense to have the trained professionals handle it because they can get there faster and do the job. I’ve been on similar adventures, and these people are well trained. Maybe Libby takes the Walmart cruise. I’m sure she’s not the first person to fall off.”

    So Don, what does not having kids have to do with my ability to read and comprehend what Mark was posting about??? You’re a dumb freaking idiot. I was stating that if your kid fell in the water, you’d jump in after them. It doesn’t take a parent to realize this. If your wife fell in, you’d jump in after them. I don’t have to be married to realize this. If you wouldn’t jump in after your wife or kid, then you shouldn’t be married or be a parent. And from our time on this board, I think we all know that there’s no way in hell Don should have kids. The fact that he does is just further proof that God is a cruel kid playing with an ant farm.

    So people, quit assuming that their were professionals on this cruise, because if you think that a kid handing out beer is a professional then I feel sorry for you.

  16. Extreme John says:

    I think you did the right thing Mark, all though I most likely would have done the wrong thing in the same situation.

    Staying level headed and calling on someone trained to handle the situation is always better than some drunken EJ guy diving into shark infested waters after boozing it up all day, just doesn’t sound like a win win.

    MikeN you make a good argument in regards to the kids scenario, and thats about it. Adults are suppose to act like adults and think like adults, they aren’t suppose to turn into movie characters charging the high seas to rescue lives while wearing a speedo.

  17. C. Princess says:

    The main thing is, she is alive and well.

  18. NeoConDon says:

    THAT is why Mike N is called “Lyin’ Linear Libby”…

    Linear liberal thinking is a sad thing to witness. Do you need help filling out your form to request a refund for your “education”…???

  19. Mike N says:

    Extreme John, did you miss the part about there NOT being trained professionals there??? Are you just as stupid as the rest of the people here who read the phantom phrase “Trained professionals”? There wasn’t someone trained to handle the situation. You’re all assuming that. No where in Mark’s post does he say there was ANYONE trained to handle the situation. The guy that jumped in after his girlfriend was a kid handing out beer as his job! That’s a fact. Do you mean to tell me that this beer-handing out kid was trained to be a life guard???

    You’re all freaking idiots.

    And Don, do you have anything new to add to anything? What does this post have to do with liberal thinking? If it’s conservative thinking that would not jump in the water to save someone I love, then I’ll take liberal thinking any day. You’re a damn coward Don, which is part of the reason you need your conceal and carry permit. Do the world a favor and hide out in your house. We don’t need you on the streets, crapping your pants at every hint of danger, and shooting every barking dog that startles you.

  20. NeoConDon says:

    Libby, are you Zig’s secret lover?

  21. Bob P says:

    I agree totally with Mike N. A good example of responsiblity and common sense.

    I’m sorry, I could excuse you if you were handicapped or old, couldn’t swim, etc. Other than that, you chickened out.

    All the others that agree with you are just like you. America has turned into a country of excuse makers. Leave it to the other guy. Complain, but let the other guy do it. If I were her, I would have dumpt him too. He is NOT someone you can relie on when things get tough.

  22. Mike N says:

    There goes Don making jokes again, but he still won’t admit that no where in Marks post does it say anything about there being a trained professional on board. I guess Don would prefer to let a kid who hands out beer for a job save his kids from drowning rather than do it himself. What a coward!

    Go up to your wife and kids, look them in the eye, and tell them that you would not save them if they were drowning. Why??? Well because that’s just the kind of human being you are. Lazy, cowardly, and full of BS. It’s too bad that being dumb isn’t punishable by death.

  23. NeoConDon says:

    It must be very difficult for small minded people like Libby to even get to work everyday. His “education” has clearly made him less than useful for society. In this particular story, the teen-ager handing out beers turned out to be as good as a trained professional. He immediatley jumped in and aided the overboard passenger until both were pulled out of the water. Maybe Libby’s poor ass doesn’t have such highly qualified people on his Walmart cruises, but Mark clearly did the right thing.

    Now the other part of Libby’s small mind and linear thinking is his assumption that if one of my kids fell overboard that I would not jump in…First, my kids would never be on a booze cruise. Second, when they’re on a boat, they are wearing a life jacket. Three of them (ages 8 and 6 and 5) can swim. So IF any of them fell in, they’d be floating.

    Libby does not have any kids. He does not know what he’s talking about. Good parents think about what’s going to happen and what they’re going to do before they get into any situation. But linear thinkers like Libby just don’t have the intelligence to realize that every action has a reaction.

    Here’s Libby on a “date” on a Walmart cruise:

    “hey baby, what’s your sign?”…”Oh dear Obama (god), my “date” just fell in the water. I should jump in.”

    A few seconds later, while his “date” is weighing him down in the water, Libby tries to scream to the boat. “Come back.”…and the world has one less linear thinking liberal.

  24. Tristan says:

    Most people are cowards, interested foremost in self preservation. Cowardice is a derogatory term, but that doesn’t mean it can’t apply to you. I can’t say I would go leaping into the water myself, as a mediocre swimmer, but not doing so would make me feel like a coward and in retrospect that’s what I would be.

    Any time you allow someone else to potentially suffer in order to preserve your own well being, your actions are cowardly. It’s easy to justify, but that doesn’t make it anything less than average cowardice.

  25. Mike N says:

    What’s the difference between a kid handing out beers jumping in the water to save someone’s life, versus a significant other jumping in to save her life? I’ll tell you. One of those people is a coward and the other was brave and quick thinking. Mark had no way of knowing that the kid was capable of saving her life. That’s the point! How would it have played out if the kid wasn’t capable? Mark would have made the wrong decision. That’s why if you’re capable of helping in these situations, YOU DO IT! That’s why there’s such a thing as the good Samaritans act. But you wouldn’t know anything about helping people. That’s your conservative nut job mind set.

    And you’re telling me Ass, that if any of your kids fell in the water, you’d still sit back and let someone else handle the situation because they have life jackets??? What if the person jumping in to help them is a child molester? You never know, just as you don’t know if they’re “As good as a trained professional”. Wow you’re a great father (sarcasm). I feel I have to point out the fact that I was being sarcastic right there because you’re too stupid to realize it otherwise.

    And yes, every action has a reaction… which is why I’m so concerned about your kids. Your actions effect their lives in a negative way each second.

  26. Mike N says:

    Thanks for clearing up the definition of coward Tristan…

    You’ll find “Don” listed next to it in the thesaurus.

  27. NeoConDon says:

    You are definitely Zig’s secret lover!

  28. Fabulous says:

    Wow. This one is a super hard situation. I honestly don’t know what I would do in that situation. I think I’d probably be screaming something like, “HELP HELP” because, let’s face it, I’m a horrible swimmer. If I would have jumped in after my husband I would be putting my life more at risk then his since he is such a strong swimmer. I don’t have kids yet but I am pregnant and I think I would probably do the same thing. Scream and get someone’s attention who CAN swim. If I were to jump over board to save my baby, the trained professionals would save the baby first right? If I jumped in, the baby might be left motherless because I did a reckless thing like jump over board when I can’t swim.

    I don’t think by Mark jumping in that he was a coward. I think he just accessed the situation and did what he felt was right. This type of situation has no right or wrong reaction. Everyone does what they feel is right and we move on with our lives.

  29. Mike N says:

    Fabulous, if you can’t swim then yes, getting someone who can swim is the right decision. I don’t know if Mark can swim or not, which is why I haven’t explicitly called him a coward. But if he can swim… then it’s cowardly to not jump in. Everyone is assuming that I am saying you have to just jump right in, and ignoring the fact that you can just as easily yell “Man overboard” and then jump in.

    So unless you’re physically unable to jump in for whatever reason, it’s cowardly to sit back, especially when it’s someone you care about. All the people, especially Don, who are backing Mark up and saying he did the right thing… are cowards. (Unless of course they can’t swim).

    Mark, if you felt the slightest bit guilty when those people walked up to you and your girlfriend and made the comment about how you were the guy who DIDN’T jump in to save her… then you know I’m right.

    Don, I sincerely hope that your family is never in such a situation of any kind for two reasons. One, no matter how much I disagree with you I wouldn’t want any harm to come their way, and two, because you wouldn’t do squat to help them.

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