In the October issue of Reader’s Digest was one of their patently dramatic stories of death and mayhem at sea, ‘Raging the Storm‘. It told the story of a sailing regatta gone bad at the mouth of Mobile Bay in 2015. When you’re a kid you read these stories to hear about the heroism and bravery in the face of death. When you’re older you see that the Fairhope Yacht Club and the US Coast Guard were criminally liable for the deaths of 10 people. The National Weather Service did its job, it sent warnings to them at 7:44 am and 10:45 am. The sanctioning body, the Fairhope Yacht Club, and the governing body, the Coast Guard, both chose to have people die rather than make the damn decision to cancel the race.
And to make sure no one ever learns from these deadly fiascos, Reader’s Digest continues their nearly century long tradition of telling a story for its revenue potential, the dead be damned. How many times over the decades do they play up the story in a “gosh it was just an accident” scenario? They’re not. It invariably comes down to someone wandering up a mountain or staggering around the desert because they ignored warnings or ventured forth with inadequate training and equipment. And Reader’s Digest always covers their tracks for them with a story narrative of “it was nobody’s fault, it just happened.” Bullshit. They play with people’s lives for a buck. It’s time to stop profiting off these idiots and start preventing tragedies.
[In this particular annual race the theme is to pair up ‘old salts’ with newcomers to the sport, often minors. It would be one thing to ignore the warnings if everyone were experienced adults, but to make life and death decisions for minors who don’t have a clue is inexcusable.]