Tuesday, June 02, 2009

The vastness of the deep blue sea

The disappearance of flight 447 from Rio de Janeiro to Paris has a peculiarly haunting feel.

Not only is there a sudden loss of 228 souls and the pain of their families who were waiting for them in various countries of the world. There is also the realisation that in 2009 when the earth often seems very small and it seems possible to see everything with a satellite; that it is still possible for a plane to simply "disappear" with no radar trace, no message and no explanation. When I fly with work or on holiday I often keep an eye on the journey maps that show the route of the flight. When crossing an ocean these are largely useless as there is simply the sea beneath. It is only over land that you can feel like you are charting the progress of the journey. The sea covers the majority of the planet and is vast. The loss of a whole airliner is a reminder of how vast.

Wreckage is now reported to have been sighted hundreds of miles off the Brazilian coast. The seas is said to be as deep as 12,000 feet in places. In such circumstances mankind remains helpless and it is a reminder that the feeling of control we have is often nothing but a veneer. The forces of nature remain vast and our lives are uncertain.

I remember those who perished over the mid-Atlantic and who now rest at the bottom of a vast sea.

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