The RNLI and the Idiot

By | Category: Travel rumblings

Sailing, boating of all sorts, canoeing, surfing and kayaking are popular pastimes. Marinas mushroomed around our coastlines. In a 2006 survey sponsored by Sunsail it was estimated that nearly 3.7 million Britons are regularly involved in watersports for recreation.

Sometimes through no fault of their own, difficulties are encountered and the first call is to the RNLI, the Royal National Lifeboat Institution. The RNLI is run solely on public donations; the government makes no direct contribution. It is manned by volunteers who give freely of their time.

So when some idiot decides to make a hoax call there is just the chance that some tragedy might occur whilst the lifeboat is off on a wild goose chase.

But that wouldn’t happen you might say.

Tell that to the volunteers of the Moelfre, Holyhead and Rhyl lifeboats in North Wales. Some idiot has made three hoax calls in as many days and on one occasion, the Moelfre lifeboat couldn’t return due to high seas leaving that patch of the coastline without a rescue service.

This year the RNLI celebrates 200 years of the only full time lifeboat crew, Spurn Point, in Yorkshire. What they don’t want to celebrate is having to deal with idiots who think it amusing to send lifeboats on wasted journeys. So if they catch this person, I trust that the authorities will deal with them severely, not just with a warning. How about months of weekend work cleaning RNLI premises or something that benefits them? That might deter others because, as watersport tourists, we want to know the RNLI is available if we ever need them.

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