Thursday, June 02, 2005

Are you aware it's more dangerous to be a fisherman than a soldier?

The department of labor statistics listed the occupational death rate for commercial fishermen at 71 deaths per hundred thousand fisherman in 2003.

By comparison, the occupational death rate for people in the military as a result of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan is currently closer to 45 deaths per hundred thousand servicemen (the military comprising about 1.5 million people).

Of course, there are more dangerous and less dangerous jobs in the military, just as there are more dangerous and less dangerous jobs in the fishing industry. And of course the running total the news reports is higher overall, as there have been far more Americans rotating in and out of the Middle East over the past few years than fishing the seas in any given year (not to mention that the news doesn't bother to report the deaths of fishermen at all). But even when you add-in accidents and other fatalities which have nothing to do with the wars, considering just the personal risk, still, the average soldier runs about the same chance of not coming home from active duty as the average sailor risks fishing for King Crab off the coast of Alaska.

And both of them do better than Lumberjacks, who died at a rate of 117 per hundred thousand in 2003, mostly by standing under the wrong tree.

This does not trivialize our soldiers' service, of course. A soldier while in combat risks his life in a way no timber cutter or fishermen ever does. But it is something to consider when pondering the news from Iraq over a tuna melt.