Hendrik Coetzee: Consumed

I recently came upon this article in Outside Magazine Online about Hendrik Coetzee, an experienced whitewater kayaker who was tragically killed when he was attacked by a crocodile on a remote river in Africa.

Although the article is written in somewhat melodramatic fashion, it subtly focuses on an important aspect of extreme sports that is often misinterpreted by the media. Those of us who choose to risk our lives for thrills and adventure are aware that staying alive often requires an aspect of luck. Bad luck can strike anyone at any time, even the most experienced people, and when this happens there is usually nothing that can be done about it. No amount of physical or technical training can prevent these mishaps. There is simply no way to explain it, but it continues happening in all realms of extreme sports, and people continue to risk their lives regardless. Instead of grasping at a reason for this tragedy, I think it is important to remember that Hendrik knew the risks and that he died doing something he loved. His passion for exploration and adventure took him to some of the most incredible places in the world and for that I envy him. Occasionally, there are stories, like Hendrik’s, that seem imaginary because they are so strange. Even though the story of his death is extremely sad and disturbing, the story of his life is truly inspiring. I suggest you give it a read. 


  1. Hell yes Cliff Mass reference!!! I met him the other day in the Atmospheric Sciences building. He was awesome, super cool dude. Looking good, bud. Can't wait to hear more over a beer next time I see you. Enjoy your REI talk, I'll get some of those Seattle bums to go.


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