Re. White Island eruption: Heroic Volcanic Air pilot Tim Barrow speaks out
This is a great story. Thanks for sharing it. (News, December 11)
Sometimes rule books need to be ignored. When I talk about risk management I always mention that the last thing you head for, when in a river heading for rocks in the middle of a grade 4 rapids is the "Code of Practice".
Sometimes we use the word "heroes" loosely. Someone who goes into a situation after they have done a formal risk assessment and determined that it is safe to proceed is not a hero.
Someone who takes albeit calculated risks in the heat of the moment is a hero, as is the case of the pilots who saved 10 lives.
I recall stories told by my dad relating to World War II. He was in the medic corps in Egypt and went into enemy German prisoner of war camps to exchange injured prisoners while fighting was going on around them.
He never got any recognition for that ... no special medals ... no special mentions ... just volunteered and got on with the job because it had to be done.
Others who sat in smoke-filled offices and made decisions that cost soldiers their lives got made Sirs and Lords.
Had these heroes you write about not "broken the rules" 10 more lives would have been lost as a result of a bureaucratic "process". Here's hoping they don't lose their licence for being genuine heroes.
So, again, well reported. We need more stories like that.
Top gun got stuck in
I'm sorry, I mean no disrespect but why are pilots being held back from White Island?
This is similar to Pike River. People want their loved ones back – is that not paramount?
Surely the goal was to get people off the island.
We have people who are equipped to do what others can't in these situations. They are skilled, brave, they know the environment and they can make their own calls.
One such pilot flew out there on his own initiative, descended into the crater, got on with it and saved lives. This is what he was able to do.
It was outstanding work by a top gun and I hope he is formally recognised.
In such situations give these people free reign to get it done.
It's of utmost importance.
God help our grandchildren
Greta Thunberg has been named Time's person of the year, the youngest person ever.
For those who don't stay informed, scientists have taken away the decade they gave us to make radical changes to save our planet.
Latest research reveals the damage being done has accelerated.
One young teenager can't save us. Politicians are failing to act.
The Australian Prime Minister is refusing to connect the fires smothering Sydney to global warming and Trump is a denier. Just two examples.
Life as we know it is going to change as weather events become more extreme.
God help our grandchildren.