Richard Harris SC OAM, 2019 Joint Australian of the Year talks about risk with real, live, risk takers. How can one person BASE jump from a bridge when another gets dizzy at the top of the stairs? Why might you fear going into an elevator when I love to explore flooded caves? Real Risk gets into the weeds with the people we all think are crazy, to find that mostly, they aren’t at all. They just have a different view of the world around them, often driven by curiosity or a need to test themselves. I guarantee you’ll be inspired to push yourself a little harder. Contact me on email@example.com
S2 EP12 - Last Wave of the Day - Chris Blowes and the Great White Shark
To finish the series, the frightening account of the shark attack that so nearly cost Chris Blowes his life. The attack ended with his two mates watching the shark swimming off with their friend's leg in its mouth, towing his surfboard by the leg rope behind it. That imagery is so much worse than anything that Hollywood could dream up.
Over the next few hours Chris came as close to dying as one can. Another inexplicable survival story in the vein of last week's episode with diver Chris Lemons. But Chris Blowes survived to marry his girlfriend, have a child, return to work and perhaps most courageously, return to surfing. It is yet another story of courage, inspiration and humility that makes Chris a worthy final guest for the series. I also spoke with Dr Kylie Stanton who coordinated the medical retrieval from the SA Ambulance Emergency Operations Centre. Her medical insights into Chris's survival are equally fascinating. Enjoy!
Edit-the quote attributed to Chloe at the end of the podcast was actually stated by Dr Michelle Cresp.
Chris Blowes will release his book "Caught Inside" this December 2020.
S2 E11 Life on a Line - Saturation Diving with Chris Lemons Pt 2
In this second episode of Life on a Line, we rejoin Chris Lemons on the seabed in the North Sea. His umbilical is severed, and he has switched on his bailout gas with the knowledge that in 8 minutes his gas supply will be exhausted and he will die...
Make sure you listen to the previous episode first!
S2 E10 Life on a Line - Saturation Diving with Chris Lemons Pt 1
The world of saturation diving is high tech, complex and fascinating. The physics and physiology present unbreakable rules that must be followed to remain safe. The risks of decompression sickness, High Pressure Nervous Syndrome (HPNS), oxygen toxicity and inert gas narcosis are carefully managed. But perhaps the hardest part; living in the confines of the hyperbaric quarters for 28 days with no possibility of early release. You have to be the right kind of person.
In 2012, Chris Lemons was an experienced commercial diver, but relatively new to sat diving. "Sat" is the pinnacle of the job, good pay, exciting work and greatly respected. And he loves it. So when a highly improbable sequence of events occurred on board the ship nearly 100m above him in the middle of the North Sea late one night, he managed the chain of event which followed with a measured calm born of inner strength and years of training. He stayed calm right up until the moment his life support umbilical snapped...he then knew that in approximately 8 minutes his breathing gas would run out and he would die.
Documentary Last Breath
Chris Lemons website
S2 E9 Surfing a Ten Story Building - with Big Wave Surfer Maya Gabeira
Paddling onto a 70 foot wave must make every nerve in your brain scream STOP! The deafening roar, the wedge like tons of water curling over then hurling you down towards the reef visible beneath the shallows at the bottom of the drop. The explosion occurring all around as you reach an impossible speed if you are still standing at the base of the beast, as you then desperately try to cut across the face to escape the monster that seeks to crush you. Frankly it is inconceivable that anyone has such courage. And wave names like Jaws and Killer do nothing to misconstrue or deceive.
In what has been the domain of male big wave legends like Laird Hamilton and Eddie Aikau, there is a group of determined female athletes challenging the status quo. And from some of the venom and vitriol I read on social media a lot of the surfing establishment is not happy. But these woman are a force that cannot be ignored. Check out names like Paige Alms, Keala Kennelly and Aussie Felicity Palmateer. But today I talk to the surfer of the biggest wave ever ridden by a woman, Brazilian born Nazare resident Maya Gabeira. Check out the footage of the wave here and Maya's website here
S2 E8 Free Solo and More - Alex Honnold on Life and El Capitan
Alex Honnold is cool. Beyond cool actually. His skill and calm transcend what most of us can conceive is possible. And yet when you chat with him he is immediately likeable and you can imagine hanging out. His enthusiasm makes you want to go climbing with him although in my case that would be very embarrassing. I do suspect he'd help you maximise your potential. After all, he guided his own mum to the top of El Cap in her 60s!
I can't remember enjoying talking to someone more than I did Alex. And when I somewhat clumsily asked him if Autism Spectrum Disorder was the key to his fearless attacks on the big walls, he seemed as interested in the possibility as I was. Enjoy the conversation and see what conclusions we came to.
S2 E7 Lost in the Himalayas - The Impossible Tale of James Scott
Three minutes without oxygen, three days without water, three weeks without food. We all know the saying, but some people just refuse to acknowledge these kinds of rules. James Scott, a young medical student was such a guy. He left Australia for an adventure in Nepal, a clinical placement which would set him up for his return to start a career in surgery back home. But a poorly judged trek at the beginning of the Himalayan winter left him trapped without food, starving to death in a rock shelter in sub zero conditions. 43 days later, as close to death as you ever want to come, he was found thanks to a relentless search by his sister Joanne.
It is an extraordinary story of courage, stubbornness and the ingrained will to live.
This is a wonderful insight into what makes thrill seekers do what they do. Thoughtful questions and an excellent rapport with guests makes this well worth a listen.
Thanks Harry for the inside view of worlds I will never inhabit. Hearing what makes these adventure seekers tick is fascinating. I am with you on the “never doing a base jump “ team but now know that all kinds of people get out there for all kinds of reasons.
Such A Cool Theme
Really enjoy Richard's conversations with people who do the things that most of us would think is nigh on impossible. Very cool!
Very good as usual