Watch out for danger on vacation

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When people go on vacation they do things they would not do at home. The excitement of the moment, the time spent planning something or the money spent on the activity can get in the way of common sense. The money generated by the activity can also get in the way of common sense of the tour operator, the sky dive operator, the rafting company, the boating operator or whoever is responsible for the safe operation of the event.

If something doesn't look right, feel right or you just have an uneasy feeling, you might be saving your life by walking away. Adventure activity always comes with the element of pushing things outside the norm, and that's the fun of it. But when it comes to dying or getting severely injured, especially away from home or outside the USA, that becomes an instant nightmare.

If you are signed up for an activity, and you sense the people in charge are not competent, or the equipment looks dangerous, or the weather looks hazardous for the is probably a good idea to pass. The event operator, the tour guide or whoever is in charge should have safety as a number one priority...but it seems at times the income generated becomes the number one priority.

Recent events such as the duck boat disaster in Branson, Missouri, and a rafting deaths in Costa Rica were entirely avoidable. Both events should not have occurred, but they did, and a lot of people needlessly died.

The operators of the activities will always make you sign a waiver before you participate. The waivers usually say something to the effect of no matter how negligent the operator is, they are not responsible. These waivers have been challenged in various courts, and some courts have found the waivers unenforceable. But remember, they have you sign these waivers for a reason.

Bottom line is if you wouldn't do the activity at home, it's probably a good idea to err on the side of caution when you are thousands of miles away from home.