Of all the animals of prey, man is the only sociable one.
Every one of us preys upon his neighbour, and yet we herd together.
The Beggar's Opera: John Gay

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

All at sea

It is, alas, no surprise that the warm weather has, once more, brought the nautical Darwin Award hopefuls out in force . Exmouth RNLI, for example, were roused from their beauty sleep at 5am on Sunday when shouts for help were heard from the river:
A coastguard spokesman said: “The guy had been to the pub in the evening and decided to go kayaking in the middle of the night. 
“The tide was coming in and he was taken up the river which wasn't the direction he wanted to go. He capsized and the inshore lifeboat found him holding onto a moored boat at Pole Sands.”
A few hours later, the Exmouth crews were out again, this time delivering a stern lecture to one of those parents who, having already contributed to the gene pool, appear to be attempting to remedy the fact with the help of an inflatable toy,  an outgoing tide and an offshore wind.

And RNLI crews on the Tamar have quite enough on their hands without having to deal with the likes of the Plymouth man reported missing by his wife when he failed to return from a fishing trip by 10.30pm on Saturday night; emergency services finally traced his mobile phone to the restaurant where he was having dinner, though the news story sadly fails to say with whom.

Elsewhere, Man's (or, in this case, Woman's) battle against the tide has claimed yet another automotive victim; since it's clear that individual responsibility is never going to be enough, perhaps the authorities at Brean Beach car park should look into some way to alert motorists to the rising waters.

A few pence on the cost of parking could, with a bit of imagination, furnish a brightly-coloured paper wristband stamped with that day's 'leave-by' time, though personally I rather like the idea of firing a cannon from the nearby fort as the water approaches.

After all, if people need to be protected from the consequences of their own lack of forethought, the rest of us ought to be able to get some fun out of it where we can.


  1. "an inflatable toy, an outgoing tide and an offshore wind."

    Oh boy, that old chestnut again.

    Heard two of them on the vhf last weekend. So unoriginal!

  2. WY, some years ago, in a rash moment, we bought the offspring a 5' inflatable boat (of the sort much beloved of inebriated midnight mariners, according to the RNLI newsdesk).

    We then inquired about buying a suitable length of rope, only to be met with a blank stare - no one, apparently, had ever asked for such a thing when purchasing an inflatable toy. This was in a resort so windswept that kite surfing is a major sport there - one unfortunate youngster was carried nearly half a mile off course the previous week.

    Fortunately a nearby hardware shop furnished the requisite tether and the offspring were duly taught to row without incident while we watched the lifeguards recovering a seemingly endless succession of inflatables heading out to sea.