Thursday, 25 January 2007

Life is like a box of chocolates............

Floating debris is a big problem at sea. And events of the past week have brought this sharply into focus. There is now a vast amount of debris floating around in the English Channel. Not just whole containers, but fuel oil and also the discarded detritus left over by the marauding scavengers. It would be easy to view this lightly, roguish scamps against the filthy rich capitalists. But this ignores the reality that they are not just hampering the clean up but making it far harder. To them I say.............Think more carefully about what you are doing, buy your nappies like the rest of us, don't pick up discarded ones from the beach. And why not put your energies into helping rather than being so selfish.

We deal with the resulting damage caused by this floating trash all too frequently. Vessels are often caught up in old bits of rope or netting. This is exactly what happened to the 38' yacht 'White Oryx IV' 11Nm South of Peveril Ledge Buoy last year. They were on passage from Cherbourg to The Solent when suddenly the yacht's engine stopped. They had run over a large quantity of heavy netting. The yacht's skipper went over the side to see if he could clear the prop himself but unfortunately it was too deep for him to reach. There was absolutely no wind and the yacht was drifting West with the ebb tide at nearly 2 knots. As the yacht was disabled Portland Coastguard asked for assistance from Swanage's All Weather Lifeboat. We were paged and launched 9 mins later, a course was plotted and best speed made towards the casualty. We arrived alongside a little under 40 mins later. A tow line was passed across and the slow tow home began. Meanwhile crew at the lifeboat station were busily trying to find a diver to clear the yacht's prop to allow them to continue their passage. As luck would have it a local dive charter boat 'Mary Jo' was coming back into Swanage with divers onboard at about the same time as the Lifeboat and its tow. They very kindly offered to help and one of their divers soon cleared the large net allowing 'White Oryx IV' to continue on their passage to The Solent. We were then released to return to station.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

"People aren't chocolates. People are bastard coated bastards with a bastard centre."

Dr Perry Cox - Scrubs

(Saw it the other day, and thought it was relevant to your post. Feel free to delete if you think it's inappropriate).