"Well, there is only one piece of advice I can give you," said the wisest of wise men. "The secret of happiness is to see all the marvels of the world and never to forget the drops of oil on the spoon."

('The Alchemist' Paulo Coelho)

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Dinghy rescue

On BBC TV's morning programme 'Breakfast' yesterday, a teenage girl was interviewed. I only ever watch morning television with half an eye but I soon realised that this girl's story was interesting, if only in its stupidity. You can see the account of her experience here, but basically, seventeen year old Sammy and her friend, sixteen year old Tom were on holiday in Weston Super Mare (or Weston Mare, as she kept calling it in the interview) when they decided to go on a little sea trip. Not being the owners of a boat of any description, they spotted a couple of £4.99 children's inflatable dinghies in a nearby shop and bought those as an alternative. At no point did it occur to either of them that floating off in these might possibly not be the wisest thing to do. The article mentions that they used the dinghies' paddles, but on television, it looked as if Tom was using metal household shovels. (Yes, metal - think about it, Tom!)
Inevitably, they floated off away from Weston and eventually managed to come ashore at Brean. Even then they were apparently unfazed by their experience.
"Did you not ring for help as you had your mobile with you?" inquired the presenter.
"Nah, we just thought we could walk back. It was suppose to take about forty minutes, we were told."
Eventually, the realisation dawned on them that they were actually lost and at this point, they did indeed phone for help. Realisation must have taken quite a while though, as the seach for them lasted seven and a half hours.
"It's good to see a happy ending to an incident that could have been turned out a lot more serious. We would never recommend that people set sail in inflatable dinghies," was the coast guard's comment. I think I might have been inclined to put it a lot more forcefully than that.
And did I mention that Sammy had been carrying her mobile during this adventure? She had it with her during the interview too. I know this because the message tone went off at least three times and instead of switching it off, she was caught on camera surreptitiously texting back, mid-interview! Oh well, it's nice to know she appreciates the seriousness of it all.


Jay said...

A Darwin Award waiting to happen? Yikes ... they need some sense knocked into them, don't they? Did they mention parents at all?

Great restraint was shown by the coastguard, I think.

Jennyta said...

No mention of parents, no, Jay.

Yorkshire Pudding said...

How sad that the rubber dinghy didn't float off into the Bristol Channel and out into the wide Atlantic... Goodbye Sammy! Goodbye! 'Twould have been no great loss to the human race by the sound of it.

Jennyta said...

Oooh! YP, who rattled your cage? :)

Daphne said...

Too MUCH restraint by the coastguard, if you ask me! I've so often heard of the lifeboat in Tenby going out to rescue thoughtless fools from similar incidents. I'd like to see all subsequent interviews a bit more slanted in the direction of "Decent People Risk Their Lives To Rescue Idiots". Unfortunately, too many people seem to see the coast as one big leisure centre and it never occurs to them that it might be dangerous. Oops! Just went off on one then, sorry!

J.J said...

A depressing story but as Daphne says, all too familiar. Any recognition whatsoever that others could have been killed trying to resuce them?

They should have to pay back the cost of the rescue - that might give other idiots pause for thought in the future. And she might even notice if she hadn't any cash for topping her mobile up.

Jennyta said...

Daphne and JJ, I agree completely.


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