Kids, trying to get to the Bahamas

This story came out a while back. Two kids from Florida went fishing. They tried to make it to the Bahamas. They went missing and months later their boat was found near Bermuda. Their life jackets were in the boat. A phone was even in the boat. The kids were not. They’ve been missing for a long time, too long to still be alive.

Their trip was ill-planned. It was a horrible idea. They paid the price for that under-estimation of the risks. With all of that being true, I still stand a little bit in awe of their spirit of adventure.

As a kid, growing up in a mountain town in a river canyon I had some adventures. I went off trails and played around in the forests, but all those adventured happened within a mile or two of my house. It never occurred to me to think bigger. There are a dozen places I could see from town that I always wondered “what is is like up there?” and I never, ever actually tried to get to any of them.

Maybe, if I had, I would have been attacked by a black bear or a mountain lion or I could have fallen off a cliff, broken a leg far from trails and roads and met the same fate as those two kids. There is a risk/reward calculation here that maybe kept me from seeking out those places, but there is also the “nothing risked, nothing gained” math.

I admire the spirit of those kids, even if the decisions, in the end, were deeply flawed, even fatally so.

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  1. Dreams of adventure is admirable but someone failed to teach them the considerable training and equipment that is needed for adventures. I respectfully remember my scout leaders, friends and mountaineering guides that taught me to rock climb and mountaineering, and mentors for sailboating on the Chesapeake and Atlantic. I wade fish in very remote areas of the Appalachians and Rockies but have left a safety plan with responsible personals, bring a map and compass, first aid kit, fire starter, signal mirror, and a spot satellite messenger. I have some training in wilderness survival. Too bad the kids didn’t have the appropriate mentors. How old were they?

  2. I remember the story. That was a thoughtful reflection, thanks. You reminded me of some near misadventures of youthful kind. Sad, those kids.
    Skip Clement

  3. bonefishbjorn

    It was a wonderful idea and a horrible, horrible plan. They were teens, I think, early teens. They had mentors, just not the right ones. They had supervision, but not at the right level. Everything was just a bit off and all those issues and errors added up into disaster. So sad.

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