Don’t leave home without it

Sometimes cell phones save lives, as witness this high school kayak trip in the ocean off Florida that got hit by a storm.

Hall and Moody paddled for hours, disoriented. Their luck finally turned around midnight, when they spotted some lights onshore — from Horseshoe, Fla. — and paddled toward them until Hall’s cellphone got a signal. Hall called his wife, Christina, who alerted the Coast Guard. A search was launched.

Two perished, the rest were saved, including Hall and Moody who paddled back to the students and had to be rescued themselves when the storm worsened. Sounds like Hall, the faculty leader, was an accomplished guide who did everything right and everything he could, and without his cell phone, this tragedy could have been much worse.

As is often the case in wilderness tragedies, the major factor in the tragedy was the weather.