1. ChaseRoberts
    Offline

    ChaseRoberts Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2009
    Messages:
    126
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Dundee

    Reality check

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by ChaseRoberts, Jul 29, 2009.

    I've a question, because I'm not sure of this.

    My main character, the 'baddie', was rumbled by the police. In a bid to escape he fled in a little outboard motorised dinghy off the island. This dinghy was then found capsized in the middle of the sea, nowhere near land.

    My question is this- how likely is it that the police would assume he'd drowned? Or to put it another way, would they still launch like a massive country wide search, with bullitens on the news with his picture etc. or would they just start a sea search for his body, or nearby coast-lines for evidence he'd survived?

    I'd hate to think that this whole thing ended up unrealistic and hokey, so input would be appreciated.

    Oh, and sorry I've not been around much. I've been writing like a fiend recently.
     
  2. wiggons
    Offline

    wiggons Member

    Joined:
    May 26, 2009
    Messages:
    67
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Australia
    hmmm im no expert but i reckon they would assume he had drowned. if there was a storm going on at time, and the dinghy was completely ruined they would definitely assume that.
    i think.........
     
  3. Cheeno
    Offline

    Cheeno Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2008
    Messages:
    594
    Likes Received:
    10
    Location:
    Ireland
    Unless they happen to have access to recorded satelite coverage of the area? Also depends how...efficient the local police force are. Then again, maybe you should just go with the successful escape if it's necessary to get you where you need to be. Good luck with it.
     
  4. Rei
    Offline

    Rei Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2008
    Messages:
    7,869
    Likes Received:
    32
    Location:
    Kingston
    If I were a police officer, unless I witnessed the death, I would not assume anything. I would search both options instead of taking a chance that, though I did not see him escape drowning, he could have,
     
  5. seta
    Offline

    seta Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2009
    Messages:
    299
    Likes Received:
    2
    There are a few factors;

    1) What was the severity of the original crime? If the suspect was a mass murderer, then a few seaplanes might be dispatched to look for a body.

    2) How far out to sea was it? It could be possible that he had a larger boat waiting for him, and he capsized his little boat as a ruse.

    3) How long has it been out at sea? There are "rules of thumb" for survival time under different conditions.

    As Rei said - a good cop never assumes anything. Perhaps one officer on the force could stay persistent while the rest tend to give up.
     
  6. Wreybies
    Offline

    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
    Messages:
    18,859
    Likes Received:
    10,035
    Location:
    Puerto Rico
    I have to agree, that at least in The States, it would depend on the crime which had been committed by your baddie. Regardless of wether there was a suspicion that he had survived or not, I think it would come down to allocation of resources, which are limited for the police. If your baddie were a violent criminal, I would think this would evince a more dedicated attempt to rule out all possibility than if the baddie were, say, a jewel thief. In both cases, the case would probably remain open, but there's a difference between open and actively pursued, and simply... open.
     
  7. Cogito
    Offline

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Messages:
    35,935
    Likes Received:
    2,043
    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    The police would certainly take into consideration how motivated that person would be to disappear, whetger for criminal reasons or personal ones. Typically, after a year the person would be declared "missing and presumed dead", but circumstances could reduce that to a couple days, or extend it indefinitely.

    There have been cases of boating accidents a few miles offshore, in which the missing person was known not to have a life preserver, that the victim was presumed dead within a couple days of searching. Hypothermia limits the amount of time a person can survive in the water, with or without a life jacket.

    It really depends on the circumstances.
     
  8. arron89
    Offline

    arron89 Banned

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2008
    Messages:
    2,460
    Likes Received:
    91
    Location:
    Auckland
    In Home and Away (don't judge me) they had a character who was an armed robber and would-be murderer get away by diving into a river (after having been shot in the leg) and no effort is made to track him down....not saying that's necessarily what would happen, but if they think its ok for their show, I don't see why it wouldn't be ok for you.
     
  9. ChaseRoberts
    Offline

    ChaseRoberts Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2009
    Messages:
    126
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Dundee
    lol, no judging.

    So far I've had the coastguard and helicopters on a three day search. It is the Atlantic Ocean, so it's notoriously cold and er, cold. Working on the principle that because he was caught off guard, they would not expect there to be a pick up for him (which there wasn't).

    Taking on board what you guys said, I'm going to go with the 'missing presumed dead' theory, but still have a medium amount of media and police interest in the 'just in case he's still alive' theory.

    Meantime, I have to now figure out how he did escape! I'm thinking he had two dinghys, and he deliberately capsized one in order to make it look like an accident, especially given the fact that he was injured and bleeding at the time (superficially). The blood would give added weight to the injured and killed at sea theory.

    Any other (more plausible) suggestions, would be welcome. Does that sound plausible?
     
  10. HorusEye
    Offline

    HorusEye Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2009
    Messages:
    1,215
    Likes Received:
    48
    Location:
    Denmark
    Usually when people go missing in cases where they could be presumed dead, the police and rescuers will continue looking for alternatives, keeping the public aware of the missing person and investigate his/her connections. If divers and helicopters find no remnants of a corpse, they will continue to look for alternatives. I've noticed more than one time where I wondered how they keep at it, when it should be so obvious that the person is dead - but they have to, it's their job. No body - no case closed.

    Can't you use this in your story to keep the stakes up? Or is it because you're looking for a way to end the story with the MC safe away?
     
  11. seta
    Offline

    seta Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2009
    Messages:
    299
    Likes Received:
    2
    Also, if Bill O'reilly catches wind of something and takes interest it might get national attention.
     
  12. ChaseRoberts
    Offline

    ChaseRoberts Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2009
    Messages:
    126
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Dundee
    No, actually, the stakes up thing is quite a good idea. At the moment I've got several characters who are either convinced he's dead or convinced he's still alive. Since the character in question is going to 'disappear' for a good while, it'd add to the mystery of whether he is still alive or not (although granted it's kind of obvious he is or there'd be no point to the next part of the book). A bit of media interest, a sighting here or there would definately add fuel to the fire.

    On the plus side, having him elude the police and disappear is a darned sight better than having him arrested, tried, and then escape from prison. Or at least easier to write. :rolleyes:
     
  13. thabear637
    Offline

    thabear637 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2008
    Messages:
    55
    Likes Received:
    2
    I'm kind of curious (unless I misunderstood..if so I'm sorry!) how they can tell he was bleeding (superficially or not). The water would easily wash the blood away.
     
  14. tcol4417
    Offline

    tcol4417 Member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2009
    Messages:
    31
    Likes Received:
    16
    Location:
    Sydney, AU
    Don't forget to scale this against the setting of your story.

    In a tattered post-apocalypse the "police" are just power-junkies with guns
    In a futuristic dystopia they're wrath of God material

    Even if it's set in the "real world", the African police department of thr 1950s aren't privy to the equipment, training or morale dedication (assumption I know, but look at the history of the place: honestly) to the NYPD, who are likewise dwarfed by the Feds.

    It's all a matter of context.
     
  15. seta
    Offline

    seta Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2009
    Messages:
    299
    Likes Received:
    2
    You could always add the Social Media angle on it and have a bystander record the whole incident and post it on Youtube.

    That's one thing that Orwell (nor anyone else) ever predicted...
     

Share This Page