Saturday, 14 July 2007

coming to the coast ?

As the school summer holiday begins, I hope you dear readers will indulge me while I have a little rant-ette.
The Ocean, wherever you are in the world, is not a swimming pool. Before you get into the water, appraise yourself of as much information as you can. Check the tides, ask locals/lifeguards for advice on where safe bathing areas are.
Please don't swim near danger areas like harbours and breakwaters, and keep your eye on the could be cutting you off from the beach.

The guys in the photo are some of my colleagues on the Cromer Lifeboat crew. Their broad smiles are due to the fact that they are having a great time, using their free time, training to rescue people in trouble at sea.
We don't smile much when we are looking for children who were ;
"Over there in the surf just a minute ago".

On at least one occasion during my decade on the crew, we have returned to the beach with a child, invariably picked up a good distance from the shore with their inflatable airbed/boat/ring/shark, to find one or more adults somewhat surprised that all the fuss they have just witnessed was over their little Jimmy/Jemima.
We all like a read or a nap on the beach, but PLEASE, not while the kids are in the sea.

Come to the coast, swim in the sea, have a great time, support local trade and commerce, and leave with heaps of wonderful memories.
If you do it right, you will probably be lucky enough never to meet large, sad looking men in yellow dry suits and red life jackets, who don't want to look you in the eye.


GW said...

Unbelievable that some parents would allow that to happen. Far it be for me to suggest that perhaps the point of taking your children to the beach is to play WITH them. Not leave them to their own devices.

Maybe taking it in turns with friends/partners/grandparents to relax.

In any case we continue, as the people who live on and visit this coast-line have for so long, continue to owe a great debt of gratitude to you and your colleagues on the crew.

Perhaps those of us visiting the beach with our children this year could make a point of dropping the change from the ice-creams, in one of your collection boxes to help ensure the longevity of this excellent and selfless service.

knifepainter said...

Hi again gw. The money would be welcome.

Have a look at TRAIN ONE SAVE MANY in the links if you get a minute.

Miss Evie D's said...

I have a healthy respect for water - not good with the stuff at all so marshall my tribe with more than military precision. One adult to two children and no going more than a few paces from the shore. A local girl died at Lowestoft this weekend - her dad saw her 50 metres from the pier. Not exactly rocket science but the message never seems to sink in. And a BIG THANK YOU to those who are more at ease than I on the water and do such incredible work.

beachfreak said...

It's such a tough one this.

The sea is fun, but people die having fun in it.

Education is key. Posts like this need to be everywhere. Tourist boards need to be more responsible about the reality of beach visits; parents have to take ultimate care of their children; the media need to help spread the word; and you boys and girls on the boats will always be needed - thankyou.

We've already lost two kids this year off our bit of coast. That's two too many.

Big up to GW's suggestion of ice cream change. Spend it well, RNLI.

KMF said...

Nice photo

Renie said...

It;s the parents that still allow their childre nto play with Lilo's and rubber dinghys in the sea that amaze me. Surely the dangers are obvious? That said, my children still ask almost every time if their Lilos can come with us! If only we lived in a warm country with outdoor swimming pools for that sort of thing!

I'm often to far up the beach to buy my children an ice cream so the RNLI can have my change! Perhaps they should put boxes on the beaches for you to leave tips in!

Renie said...

Bit of dodgy typing at the beginning there but i think you can make sense of it!!!
We can't all be word perfect like our friend Beachfreak!

GW said...

None of us are perfect, word or otherwise.

But makes perfect sense nevertheless.

knifepainter said...

.......thanks to all of you for commenting.

Interestingly, the dosh put into boxes every year for the RNLI is over £150 million......good job really as it costs at least that every year to run it.

Everyone who puts money in the box takes a share of the warm glow we all get, when someone somewhere is dragged out of the sea alive.

Renie said...

Thanks GW.
But if someone was perfect how would they or anyone else know?!!

GW said...

Renie.I would say that perfection is a matter of your own personal perception.

However if you have been lucky enough to find it, take my advice and hang on to it. It may not come along again.

Swearing Mother said...

Hey, have you guys ever thought about selling your own photo-calendar? I expect you have done this already. Best sort of seaside souvenir to bring home. Your pictures are fantstic, and I would definitely buy one! Especially of the hunky guys in the boat........

And thanks Knifepainter for your encouraging words on my blog.

knifepainter said...

Hello swearing Mother, nice of you to come and have a look.

We did a calendar several years ago, frightened the horses......