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New Zealand - volcano eruption


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#26 Bauble Dinkleberry

Posted 12 December 2019 - 06:44 AM

Sad news indeed. We recently took our family on to an island with an active volcano in the ring of fire. Such an amazing experience, and a risk we understood. RIP

#27 born.a.girl

Posted 12 December 2019 - 06:49 AM

View PostPhillipaCrawford, on 12 December 2019 - 06:09 AM, said:

We when to Newfoundland this year - specifically to visit Iceberg Alley.  It was amazing BTW.

While there we were warned only to go on accredited paying tours, not to accept a local's offer to run us up close in his dinghy. Icebergs are risky, getting too close with an untrained operator could be lethal.

I had always wanted to visit White Island.  My risk assessment would have been the same as it was in Newfoundland with the bergs. It's fascinating, but dangerous. My decision to use someone qualified  - in the case of White Island Tours awarded as well- would be the decision I took to minimise risk.


Same. Obviously there is an appropriate investigation into whether all safety protocols were followed, but the things we've done in recent years: helicopter flights, ziplining Niagara falls, standing on the edge of Vesuvius,  whitewater rafting carry some risk or it wouldn't be quite so exciting.

White Island would definitely have been on my list, too.

#28 MooGuru

Posted 12 December 2019 - 07:37 AM

View Postborn.a.girl, on 12 December 2019 - 06:49 AM, said:




Same. Obviously there is an appropriate investigation into whether all safety protocols were followed, but the things we've done in recent years: helicopter flights, ziplining Niagara falls, standing on the edge of Vesuvius,  whitewater rafting carry some risk or it wouldn't be quite so exciting.

White Island would definitely have been on my list, too.

I guess what I mean by assuming the risk is if  it was an organised tour by a reputable company  (and allegedly people who did the cruise have said they were not informed of any potential risk) I would assume they had done a risk assessment that it was safe enough to proceed. Not that there were current warnings in place that significantly increased the risk factor.

Like if you went ziplining at Niagara falls you'd anticipate the zipline of a reputable company would meet safety standards. So whilst it might be an adrenaline rush activity I would assume the company would stop running the zipline if there was a warning in place saying a landslide was likely in the spot where the zipline is attached.

#29 born.a.girl

Posted 12 December 2019 - 08:24 AM

View PostMooGuru, on 12 December 2019 - 07:37 AM, said:

I guess what I mean by assuming the risk is if  it was an organised tour by a reputable company  (and allegedly people who did the cruise have said they were not informed of any potential risk) I would assume they had done a risk assessment that it was safe enough to proceed. Not that there were current warnings in place that significantly increased the risk factor.

Like if you went ziplining at Niagara falls you'd anticipate the zipline of a reputable company would meet safety standards. So whilst it might be an adrenaline rush activity I would assume the company would stop running the zipline if there was a warning in place saying a landslide was likely in the spot where the zipline is attached.

Sure. But there are still accidents with those things - a zipline broke somewhere in Australia not long ago with at least one death. Helicopters crash.

I fully acknowledge they are different from  a volcano erupting, which is outside the management of the tour company.

That said, I can't actually imagine anyone going on a tour to an active volcano without being aware that there's some risk involved.   I wouldn't have even thought it needed to be said.  I should also imagine they were not told it was 100% safe.

Whenever I have to put a helmet on, I know I'm taking a risk.

By all accounts (and we only have at this stage what the media choose to give us, only the investigation will establish the facts) the tour company were not given advice it was too risky.

We do have self-proclaimed experts saying it was too risky, but who knows what those who actual job it was to establish that specific risk, took into account.  We'll only know after an investigation.

#30 Ruf~Feral~es

Posted 12 December 2019 - 11:30 AM

Depends how you mitigate risk in your own mind. I would  generally be comfortable with the fact that 20 000 people a year have been visiting this place, with no issues for a very long time.  

Until the day when there is an issue.   Russian Roulette, really.  But it's like the tsunami in Indonesia, and so many other natural disasters.  You can have all the planning in place, but sometimes it is just the wrong place at the wrong time.

#31 purplekitty

Posted 12 December 2019 - 12:53 PM

White Island has been on my list for a long time.

I can guess that my husband and son would have gone on the island while my daughter and I would not.

We react to risk differently and are quite cautious.

#32 Lucrezia Bauble

Posted 12 December 2019 - 02:08 PM

its such a horrific tragedy.

it’s hard to say what i would have done, in hindsight of course i’m all “hell no, i’m not going to an active volcano” but ask me a week ago and i’m not sure. i’ve skied in Europe where there is always a risk of an avalanche (even on piste) - and will do so again, i’ve gone on helicopter joy rides, i’ve snorkelled where there are likely to be sharks. it is as PP said Russian Roulette.

it’s just so awful - they were all there in this beautiful place, on a great trip before christmas and then this happens.


#33 steppy

Posted 12 December 2019 - 02:24 PM

They would have known there are risks, they would have just assumed that it wouldn't happen in that small time they were there. Same with the tour operators - there would be a very great many days the volcano was at that risk level and did not erupt - way way more than days it did.

I've visited active volcanos a few times. It's always risky, always scary. Even when there is no higher risk level, it doesn't mean you will be safe. Even a change in wind direction could harm you.

And if you've been to NZ and visited Rotorua, you've been in an active volcano. Same if you've visited the volcanic areas around Myvatn in Iceland.

I feel so sorry for those people, so very sorry.

Edited by steppy, 12 December 2019 - 02:27 PM.


#34 Kiwi Bicycle

Posted 12 December 2019 - 03:04 PM

Both DH and I studied geology at Auckland University and DH was in the geology club in the the late 90s. The geology club tried to have an annual trip to White Island and I know DH was absolutely keen to go, along with university lecturers etc.
It didn't happen, put off  several times due to weather and activity levels. In fact, it was rare to have a weekly trip to the island let alone daily trips.

White Island has always been active. It used to have a sulphur mine in which an eruption destroyed in the 60s and was abandoned. I really don't understand why it has become a daily visit tourist attraction. Yes, fly a helicopter out and around it, or take a boat out to look, but to set foot on it? Nah. It shouldn't of happened.

#35 purplekitty

Posted 12 December 2019 - 03:20 PM

A boat ride around it would have been enough for me.

As for individual risk assessment I think many people would expect that if there are multiple tours available and the government allows them that the risk is minimal and manageable.
I don't blame them even a little.

Just tragic.

#36 born.a.girl

Posted 12 December 2019 - 03:21 PM

View PostKiwi Bicycle, on 12 December 2019 - 03:04 PM, said:

Both DH and I studied geology at Auckland University and DH was in the geology club in the the late 90s. The geology club tried to have an annual trip to White Island and I know DH was absolutely keen to go, along with university lecturers etc.
It didn't happen, put off  several times due to weather and activity levels. In fact, it was rare to have a weekly trip to the island let alone daily trips.

White Island has always been active. It used to have a sulphur mine in which an eruption destroyed in the 60s and was abandoned. I really don't understand why it has become a daily visit tourist attraction. Yes, fly a helicopter out and around it, or take a boat out to look, but to set foot on it? Nah. It shouldn't of happened.

I thought it was closed because a crater wall collapsed, not because of an eruption.

#37 Ruf~Feral~es

Posted 12 December 2019 - 03:23 PM

Quote

I really don't understand why it has become a daily visit tourist attraction.


Because people are looking for more and more 'adrenaline rush' activities globally?  

Also maybe because it is privately owned?  


I don't know.  I don't think it is fair to blame anyone in particular though - tour operators wouldn't put themselves in harms way every day if they thought the danger was too great, surely.

Complacency might play a part though.

#38 purplekitty

Posted 12 December 2019 - 03:24 PM

An active volcano so accessible is fairly rare I would have said.

#39 born.a.girl

Posted 12 December 2019 - 03:33 PM

View Poststeppy, on 12 December 2019 - 02:24 PM, said:

They would have known there are risks, they would have just assumed that it wouldn't happen in that small time they were there. Same with the tour operators - there would be a very great many days the volcano was at that risk level and did not erupt - way way more than days it did.

I've visited active volcanos a few times. It's always risky, always scary. Even when there is no higher risk level, it doesn't mean you will be safe. Even a change in wind direction could harm you.

And if you've been to NZ and visited Rotorua, you've been in an active volcano. Same if you've visited the volcanic areas around Myvatn in Iceland.

I feel so sorry for those people, so very sorry.


That's exactly it.  I'd have been there in a flash, and even if I thought there was a risk, I'd have rated that risk as being low while I was there. What are the chances?  Negligible for most, 100% for the current victims.

#40 born.a.girl

Posted 12 December 2019 - 03:44 PM

View Postpurplekitty, on 12 December 2019 - 03:24 PM, said:

An active volcano so accessible is fairly rare I would have said.


I've been to the rim of Vesuvius, which is admittedly not much of a risk (however it is an active volcano and will erupt again), but also scrabbled around in one of the craters caused by an Etna eruption, and if we'd been there longer, would definitely have done one of the hikes. Etna's had two significant eruptions this century.


I think at one end we have people who won't take any unnecessary risks at all - which would involve zero travel, presumably, and at the other end people who get their biggest thrill out of cheating death.

I rode a motorbike, and also learned to fly light aircraft, so I'm hardly at the 'conservative' end, but something like climbing rock faces without ropes would have me freeze with fear.  In fact climbing WITH ropes would have me freeze with fear.

#41 Sandra

Posted 12 December 2019 - 04:17 PM

New Zealand is a country that lives with constant ongoing seismic activity, earthquakes occur a lot, we are all aware of that, look at the devastating ones that struck Kaikoura and Christchurch yet tourists still go there.

White Island is active, has always been active. What happened there as nothing short of a devastating tragedy, but it was always a risk of it maybe happening, but again there are risks in many tourist activities  (look at the accidents in Bali etc this past year where Aussies have been injured badly).

Though there may have been an increase in signs, again nothing may have come of it at all, as has happened on many occasions, this is life on the ring of fire.

My heart goes out to all those who lost loved one, to those so horribly injured and suffering in intensive care, and thank goodness for those brave souls who went back and the helicopters that flew in and landed regardless of risks to get what survivors they could off the island.

#42 steppy

Posted 12 December 2019 - 05:01 PM

View Postborn.a.girl, on 12 December 2019 - 03:33 PM, said:

That's exactly it.  I'd have been there in a flash, and even if I thought there was a risk, I'd have rated that risk as being low while I was there. What are the chances?  Negligible for most, 100% for the current victims.

I had the opportunity to go earlier this year but didn't as I've already been to a few volcanic areas and it didn't look any more impressive. But if I'd not been to other volcanos, I'd have loved to go and have a look up close. Again, so sorry for those people. And their families. I can only hope it was quick for those close to the rim.

#43 MooGuru

Posted 12 December 2019 - 05:01 PM

View Postpurplekitty, on 12 December 2019 - 03:20 PM, said:

A boat ride around it would have been enough for me.

As for individual risk assessment I think many people would expect that if there are multiple tours available and the government allows them that the risk is minimal and manageable.
I don't blame them even a little.

Just tragic.

You said what I was trying to say.

#44 purplekitty

Posted 12 December 2019 - 05:21 PM

View PostSandra, on 12 December 2019 - 04:17 PM, said:


My heart goes out to all those who lost loved one, to those so horribly injured and suffering in intensive care, and thank goodness for those brave souls who went back and the helicopters that flew in and landed regardless of risks to get what survivors they could off the island.
Amazing people.

#45 born.a.girl

Posted 12 December 2019 - 05:37 PM

View Poststeppy, on 12 December 2019 - 05:01 PM, said:

I had the opportunity to go earlier this year but didn't as I've already been to a few volcanic areas and it didn't look any more impressive. But if I'd not been to other volcanos, I'd have loved to go and have a look up close. Again, so sorry for those people. And their families. I can only hope it was quick for those close to the rim.

The pics of the helicopter with the blades broken and distorted, and that was nearer the beach, give me hope that it was.

I knew someone who died of burns (motorbike petrol tank caught fire), it took a few weeks, he even seemed to be getting better (visually) but the doctors were negative about his prognosis, much to the chagrin of his family.  Our skin does a mighty job.

When my daughter's partner's bike caught fire recently he was able to get off the road before it shot into flames (and was destroyed).  I just felt sick at the thought of what could have happened.

#46 Chchgirl

Posted 12 December 2019 - 07:37 PM

I'm too chicken to do stuff like that to be honest..

#47 Lifesgood

Posted 13 December 2019 - 12:47 AM

We climbed on Mt Etna - I don’t know if I would do that now.

#48 VigilantePaladin

Posted 13 December 2019 - 11:47 AM

View Post*Ker*, on 11 December 2019 - 07:34 PM, said:

My partners daughter, K, is close friends with the young Adelaide girl, Zoe. Her body was identified today, but she's still on White Island. K is devastated.
I've just found out a friend from work has lost her sister and niece in this tragedy. It is awful.

#49 ContentedFleur

Posted 16 December 2019 - 11:31 AM

Some mongrel has posted a one-star review of the White Island Tours on Trip Advisor.
https://www.tripadvi...rth_Island.html

scroll down.
How much of a sod do you have to be to do that?

#50 Murderino

Posted 16 December 2019 - 11:47 AM

Far out that’s awful. What a self centred d*ck.




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