Live Boston reports on the man apparently fell from the pier around 1:40 a.m. and his rescue by first responders.
I recall there being no barrier whatsoever, not even a chain, to impede someone from falling off the pier.
Should they build a fence around the whole Atlantic Ocean to make sure nobody falls in?
No, they should not build fences around the ocean, or the rim of the Grand Canyon, for that matter.
But, on the other hand, when you live in a first world country, and you’re not out in nature but instead in a built-up environment, and you’re in some constructed place to which the public has access, such as a shopping mall, or a city street, or a public building, you naturally make certain assumptions: that flat surfaces that look like floors are safe to stand on, that walls will stand up to a person leaning on them: that there won’t be sudden unprotected drop-offs, etc.
If it’s an industrial site or a working pier I would have different expectations, but It’s effectively a park, you’d expect typical safety codes to apply. For example, barriers protecting a drop-off to the harbor
There are some places where falling in carries higher risk. If you fall in at the beach, you might get wet in the ankle-deep water. If you fall in from a wharf/quay, the water's going to be deeper and you probably can't get back out without some help.
That said, it is a pier, and if it's still being used for its intended purpose -- loading and unloading ships -- then a fence/railing is counterproductive. If that's a thing of the past, then it might make sense to install some sort of protective barrier to protect pedestrians/drivers, especially as it looks like there are going to be more offices out there.
That's because it isn't necessary. I'm sure there's a "Paul Harvey" for this apparent fall.
How do you fall from a pier.
Hmm. Is it salty?
Common sense is not too common.
Fences aren't effective against stupid.
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