Tuesday, 4 December 2007

Christmas Cheer

A request from Tamsin Thomas, our Divisional Media Relations Manager for Christmassy lifeboat stories led me to unearth this from our archive. I remember this vividly as if it were yesterday. I guess Christmas day shouts are unusual?

On Christmas day 2002 at 1125 in the morning Swanage Lifeboat Crew's Christmas celebrations were rudely interrupted as a Launch request came through from Portland Coastguard. A woman had become trapped after attempting to rescue her dog which had fallen down the cliff about 250 yards away from the lifeboat station. The crew was asked to stand by with both boats while the woman and her dog were recovered from the cliff by the Coastguard cliff rescue team. Both the ALB and the ILB lifeboats launched and made their way towards Durlston Bay. The woman was clearly visible and appeared to be uninjured and in a stable position. The ‘D’ Class lifeboat ‘Phyl Clare’ went close inshore and relayed messages to the woman with a loud hailer. The Cliff rescue team soon had their equipment in place and the woman and her dog were hauled back up the cliff to safety. With the casualty at the top of the cliff both lifeboats were released and swiftly returned to station. After a quick wash down the crew wished each other a happy Christmas and were able to return to their waiting families at 1205.

As the page came through from Portland Coastguard I was just preparing our festive Goose for the oven before heading out with the family for our traditional Christmas day bike ride. Consequently I was dressed head to foot in Lycra and looked nothing like the expected image of a lifeboatman. I abandoned both the Goose and the family and rushed to the boathouse to be greeted by howls of laughter from the crew! On my return I was horrified to discover an uncooked Goose sat exactly where I had left it………….I am the only member of the family who can cook. We had sandwiches for Christmas lunch and a well deserved Goose for supper!


Anonymous said...

I had wheeled out my newly built Caterham 7 onto the drive, and had just started the engine for the first time and was bleeding the cooling system when the pager went off. I thought it was a Christmas greeting from the cox and was cursing him as I tried to put back the bleed screw, whilst antifreeze sprayed all over face and hair. At least it made what hair I have left stick up and look stylish. At least the outcome perfect for a Christmas day, with both the lady and the dog being rescued. I believe it is the only Christmas launch for Swanage lifeboat.

Dave Corben

Anonymous said...

Is ' Mr Policeman' in fact holding back Kev from performing one of his rescues on one of his four legged freinds??

lifeboatjohn said...

Glad you remember it Dave.......no senile dementia for you?!

ps. When do I get a proper trip in the Caterham?