What could possibly go wrong?

Some 16 years ago, a baking summer’s day, four intrepid friends paddle south from Sellicks Beach. J1 and J2 in kayaks, A1 and A2 in sit on canoes. experienced canoeists what could possibly go wrong? you won’t have to wait long. Late afternoon, time to down paddles. ashore they went for afternoon tea, the time came to head on back. as they paddled from shore some fishermen warned ‘weather’s coming in, better hug the coast’ they decided it would be quicker to go straight across the bay. what could possibly go wrong? you won’t have to wait long.

Landmark sited, time to turn for shore. now the fun began – powerful offshore winds buffeting them out, paddling frantically against the wind, the two sit on canoes like slugs. decision was made, the two Js in kayaks, would head for help what could possibly go wrong? you won’t have to wait long.

With light beginning to fade as dusk set in J1 said to J2 ‘You better go back and see how the A’s are doing’ getting pushed further out to sea the two A’s had rafted up lashing their canoes together, then in the dim light they saw J2’s hat heading their way it seemed very close to the water what could possibly go wrong? you won’t have to wait long. J2 yelled out ‘I’m in trouble! My kayaks sinking!’ then he was in the water, suitably attired in heavy blue jeans, still wearing his hat with newfound strength the two A’s pulled J2 out of the water flopping him over the rafted canoes. in all this a paddle was lost. what could possibly go wrong? you won’t have to wait long. Now two As and one J lay straddled over 2 canoes being blown further out to sea. a mobile phone in a sea bag sat in a hatch now under water with their combined weight A2 said ‘I can open that hatch and get the phone’ A1 and J2 exclaimed ‘No way! we’ll sink!’ what could possibly go wrong? you won’t have to wait long.

It was dark now and J1 struggling to get ashore only able to paddle with one arm in fear of capsizing. she saw people on the beach she yelled out to them her words blown away in the wind. she moaned and groaned to God thinking, ‘If I don’t make it, they may not make it’ what could possibly go wrong? you won’t have to wait long. That she caught a wave and was thrust to shore. scrambling up a boat ramp to find a phone to call the police then with bladder screaming ducked into a front garden to sit behind a rose bush what could possibly go wrong? all good nothing went wrong. Further out to sea with partial immersion, bladders were in no need of a rose bush. Back on shore police cars, ambulance and the media arrived. a policeman ask J2 did they have a phone ‘they have one but I don’t know the number’ she replied ‘my phones in the car, l’d lent them a sea bag for their phone’ ‘but wait,’ she said ‘they’ve got a whistle they can blow’ with winds blowing off the shore the policeman walked closer to the sea cupping his ears trying to listen for the whistle what could possibly go wrong? you won’t have to wait long. Out at sea flashing lights were seen hope at last! Had J1 made it too shore? the three sang songs and asked for God’s help, all silently aware of their potential peril at sea. whistle blown aimlessly into the wind what could possibly go wrong? you won’t have to wait long. Ashore they had J1 sitting in the back of an ambulance, sheltered from the press sea rescue had offered to send help from O’Sullivans Beach but no, the police had it in hand. helicopter on it’s way and police boat launched from Port Adelaide what could possibly go wrong? you won’t have to wait long. Meanwhile A2 quietly slipped his hands below the sea and unscrewed that hatch and retrieved the sea bag, handing it to A1 she was able to press the buttons on the phone which was safe and dry in the bag. about to call police, the phone began to ring it was a youth group leader saying ‘I’ve brought your boys home, where are you?’ A1 explained ‘We’re adrift at sea. can you stay a while with our boys? you won’t have to wait long. Dialing through the bag A1 got on to the police who patched her through to the rescue helicopter ‘stay on the phone. We will find you’ they said ‘you won’t have to wait long’ The Helicopter flew on by nowhere near the stranded 3. onshore J1 told the police, ‘The helicopter’s in too close they’re further out to sea’ with constant talk from A1 to the helicopter It soon spotted the marooned 3 hovering close above them what could possibly go wrong? you won’t have to wait long. By now they’d been at sea for hours surviving winds and capsized canoes but in that moment the turbulence of the helicopter blades almost upended them into the sea. the helicopter crewman said ‘we will stay here, sea rescue boat is on its way. you won’t have to wait long’ Onshore the emergency services drove J2 to the boat ramp at O’Sullivans Beach. extremely hopeful now, she would soon be reunited with her intrepid friends. at sea the rescue had begun helped onboard the boat they even saved the 2 sea canoes then turned about and headed for O’Sullivans Beach what could possibly go wrong? you won’t have to wait long. Then just after 11 p.m at night the 3 survivors stepped ashore met with blinding TV camera lights glad to be alive reuniting with J1 in a group hug the tv reporter asked if they could interview them next morning J2 said ‘if you put out the word about my missing canoe’ what could possibly go wrong? you won’t have to wait long. Morning came A2’s parents sipping their morning cup of tea heard the radio news, canoeists rescued at sea they pondered for a moment could it be the As and Js ‘no way they’re not that silly’ The television crew met the friends and filmed an interview. the part about the missing canoe chopped in the edit room. that night the story of their plight on the news it wasn’t on for long. So the 4 intrepid friends live on tall tales told till this day of how they survived the perils of the sea should they venture out again we think not if they want to live long.

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