“Thousands of volunteers having been turning up all summer long pulling people out of the water, trying their best to keep our beaches safe and this bloke’s on holiday, you’re kidding, it’s embarrassing."
I don’t really have a horse in this race nor do I even understand surf life saving associations in Australia BUT I love a screaming headline and also any loose narrative tie to Nero fiddling while Rome burned.
Is any image more profound?
Historians dispute the accuracy, pointing to the facts that the fiddle didn’t exist until the 11th century and Nero was likely at his country home when the great fire destroyed, though they also say he may have sung songs about a different fire in another town.
In any case, complicated and I think we can switch the saying to “Australians drown while CEO….” something. What do you think he’s doing on his vacation? Let’s read the exclusive on 9 News who titled their piece EXCLUSIVE: Australians drowning at near-record levels while Surf Life Saving Australia CEO unavailable for comment.
Seventy-three people have drowned around the country in the 53 days since December 1.
That’s more than a drowning a day, almost a third of the 2017/18 death toll and 26 more fatalities than at this point last year and still with a month left of summer – according to data provided to 9news.com.au by Royal Life Saving Australia.
Despite those alarming figures, the CEO of Australia’s peak coastal water safety, drowning prevention and rescue authority – Surf Life Saving Australia – is currently on holiday and has not been contactable by 9news.com.au for the past two weeks.
A spokesperson for SLSA has told 9news.com.au Adam Weir – the SLSA’s chief representative positioned to respond to spikes in costal water safety incidents – has taken leave during the summer until at least January 25 but says he is in touch daily with key staff.
Around the country, the summer period has been disastrous when it comes to drownings on Australia’s beaches, rivers, lakes and pools, which have risen to a near-record level.
9news.com.au does not suggest the CEO’s absence is related to the increased number of drownings.
One volunteer surf life saver who patrols that beach told 9news.com.au he thought the situation was “embarrassing”.
“Thousands of volunteers having been turning up all summer long pulling people out of the water, trying their best to keep our beaches safe and this bloke’s on holiday, you’re kidding, it’s embarrassing,” he told 9news.com.au.
So what should the new saying be? Australians drown while CEO hoedowns? Australians drowns while CEO enjoys delicious cocktails in town?
I feel we can do better.