Blog dedicated primarily to randomly selected news items; comments reflecting personal perceptions

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Unusual iPhone4 Endorsement

"I knew that I was pretty close to the edge of the cliff overlooking the coastline, but it looked like I still had room to take a few steps down to get back on the trail."
"Five minutes had passed, my legs were dangling in midair. The tree couldn't support my weight so it started to crack. I fell but managed to cling to the top of the cliff. I still remember feeling the skin being ripped off my fingertips as I tried to grip the sharp rock edge."
"I thought it was over, my fingers were slipping,  couldn't hold my weight any more, I struggled, I had no choice but to let go."
"I had so much to live for. All I could think about was my children; my four-year-old twins, 23-year-old son and 20-year-old daughter. I said goodbye to them and told them how much I loved them."
"I remember falling and feeling the excruciating pain of the rock tearing into my leg. I bounced so many times in so many directions. The last thing I remember is my face smashing into a rock on the ground. I then blacked out. I am not sure how long I was unconscious for."
"Even though my iPhone4 was pulverized during the fall, it somehow still worked and I was able to make one life-saving call before the battery died. Ironically, I only brought the phone with me to take pictures of the postcard-worthy scenery, but it's the reason I am still alive and breathing."
Chuck Rosenberg, Torontonian, holidaying in Costa Rica

"He was yelling and screaming, saying that he fell off a cliff and was in a bad accident."
"I was trying to calm him down to find out exactly where he was. He basically told me which direction he walked in past the resort and I had to decipher where he was."
Greg Khan, travel companion at Playa Flamingo, Costa Rica
Courtesy Chuck Rosenberg
Courtesy Chuck Rosenberg     Chuck Rosenberg hiking in Canada a few months before his fall.

Two friends decided to take a holiday in each other's company, to visit a beach town by the name of Las Catalinas in the Guanacaste region of Costa Rica. One of the two, Greg Khan, was recovering from Dengue fever. The other, 52-year-old Chuck Rosenberg went off on his own just before noon. An hour later the path he had chosen to take appeared to be cut off from further entry by a pile of debris. He considered retracing his steps, or manoeuvring around the debris to continue on the trail.

He chose the latter and began clambering over what he had taken to be debris, gripping branches to balance himself. And then he realized that what appeared to be a trail was not that at all, but loose mud. Suddenly the earth below his feet seemed to vanish and he instinctively reached out for something to cling to. He found himself clinging to the trunk of a small tree, hanging over the edge of a cliff; a rather unenviable and dreadfully dangerous turn of events.

Courtesy Chuck Rosenberg
Courtesy Chuck Rosenberg   Chuck Rosenberg is lucky to be alive after tumbling 25-metres off a cliff in Costa Rica on Monday.

The tree was too slight to hold his weight, and its trunk snapped. His fingers, for that matter, couldn't possibly hold back his weight either, all the more so when he no longer had the trunk to hold onto, and all that was left was rock with his frantic fingers looking for a firm purchase. A hold that completely eluded him as his body weight left him no choice but to relax his fingers from their desperate grasp, and fall. Feet first down an 80-foot cliff.

He ricocheted from one rockface to another, and finally landed face down mere metres from the Pacific Ocean. He lost consciousness as he stopped falling, and when he awoke it wasn't to a good feeling: "Everything was bleeding. I started screaming for help. But it was futile; I was four kilometres away from the nearest human being. I was on a rock in the ocean. I was alone", he recalled. He moved a hand to his back pocket, and there was his cellphone. So he made the call to his friend, alerting him to his situation.

And as the cellphone went dead with the conclusion of the conversation, Mr. Khan alerted the coast guard and also a surfing shop close by the resort where they were staying. Mr. Rosenberg lay on the rocks, blood all around, in 34C heat and a small bit of water with him. But in ten minutes' time a rescue team from the Surf Shop appeared in a Jet Ski and carefully removed the injured man from the rock. When the Coast Guard arrived he was moved onto their boat.

"It was chaos. The waves were choppy and salt water was stinging my wounds. Everyone was screaming in Spanish. The Coast Guard worked quickly and efficiently to assess my wounds and helped hold my wrist up. It was grossly deformed, twisted at a 90-degree angle in the wrong direction", explained Mr. Rosenberg. He underwent surgery to repair his crushed wrist and a fractured tibia in his right leg. Titanium rods and pins hold his wrist together. He sustained a broken nose and has countless abrasions and cuts on his body.

Courtesy Chuck Rosenberg
Courtesy Chuck Rosenberg   Chuck Rosenberg is lucky to be alive after tumbling 25 metres off a cliff in Costa Rica on Monday.
"He's a very lucky man" stated the attending doctor. "This kind of accident normally leads to death So the injuries he actually incurred are really nothing compared to what could have happened", said Dr. Diego Castro. After a six-month recovery period, he should be as good as new. This is a story about what happened to one Canadian, out of the hundreds of thousands of Canadians who leave the country in the winter to search out balmy holiday venues in an escape from the icy winds and snow of a Canadian winter.

But then, Canadians don't really have to leave the country to find their version of adventure and excitement. in actual fact. Those who don't mind the cold weather, incessant snow and freezing rain, and enjoy winter sport activities remain behind to make as much of winter as possible, facing challenges and having fun in the process. Three such Canadians who set out to enjoy themselves in beautiful British Columbia ventured to Whistler.

They were ice climbers, two young women and a male companion. Their bodies were discovered in a crevasse about 300 metres below Joffre Peak. All too often young people looking for excitement venture into the backcountry without having a good enough knowledge of current weather conditions and how to test the reliability of the snowpack. There were, in fact, warnings of instability issued just last week. Their Sunday outing turned out lethal for them.

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