by John Yeo
It’s a sunny day in the popular seaside resort. Michael is constructing a garden shed for a customer of his DIY store, when his pager goes off. He scans the device briefly then turns and starts running. His colleagues are not surprised. They’re used to it. Within minutes he arrives at the local lifeboat station on the southeast coast. Soon he and the rest of the crew are at sea, powering towards the rocky cliffs, where two swimmers are trapped against the rocks by a heavy swell.
It’s a tricky operation to steer the rigid inflatable boat close enough without it being smashed against the rocks. The team have to bring it in quickly then hover, balancing carefully at 90 degrees to the swell. The crew hoist one man out and manoeuvre the boat round for the other man before turning for home. With both men delivered safely to the emergency services, the lifeboat is rehoused, washed and prepared for the next incident. Within hours Michael is back at the store.
This is just a solitary incident in the life of an unpaid ordinary member of the public who devote their time and efforts to saving lives at sea.
Imagine for a moment that you’re part of the crew on a lifeboat. It’s 2.30am on a freezing January morning and the pager’s just woken you from a deep sleep in a snug warm bed. You then head out to sea in complete darkness and 10m waves rise and fall around you, ready to swamp you at any moment. Strong gale force winds throw the lifeboat around like a toy.
Most lifeboat crew members are volunteers, ordinary people who simply and selflessly want to save lives at sea. When the pagers go off, they drop everything and are regularly called away from their families, their beds and their work, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
A donation to to the RNLI, is always money well-spent, to enable this important rescue work to continue.
© Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved
I wrote this post for ‘The Quintet’ our church magazine in response to the theme of…VOLUNTEERS
by John Yeo
The cycle race had been extremely hard going for Fred Wilkinson, at 54 years of age he most definitely was not the man he used to be. Although he was an unusually fit man for his age, he was not getting any younger, and he was finding it continually harder to keep up with the younger cycling fraternity.
George, his eldest son, also a cyclist continually remonstrated with him and literally begged him to stop competitive cycling.
“Dad, you will only harm yourself if you continue to try to outrace the younger cyclists!”
“Don’t worry George, I am a very fit man, I will always be capable of pushing the pedals around. I came second in the last County road-race. Remember I always said I would carry on regardless. If I stop now I will have desperate withdrawal symptoms and my life will never be the same again.”
“Dad, my brother and I will insist on riding in every race you enter from now on so that we can keep an eye on you during the course of the race.”
“George! Will either of you be able to keep up with me! Ha! Ha! Ha!”
This banter and the competitiveness went on for the next few races over the next month or so, until the day dawned when the club championship final races took place. George and his Father were due to race in the late afternoon.
The ladies in the clubhouse were preparing a sumptuous tea when Fred and George arrived.
Beryl was always quick with a quip and she had a very soft spot for Fred.
“Come and taste my fruity homemade tarts Fred! They are all my own work and very tasty.” said Beryl sweetly smiling as she passed a plate to him.
Fred looked at her proffering her wares, smiled and said, “Perhaps just a nibble!” as he popped a piece into his mouth.
Suddenly he staggered forward unable to speak and started to go very red, then blue in the face. Beryl, who was a trained nurse turned and suddenly punched him hard in the back. Fred shocked, spluttered and choked when a piece of pastry came flying out of his mouth.
The shocked club members gathered around, relieved that he was breathing normally and all was fine. Beryl arranged for him to get a checkup straight away at the Doctors surgery, which meant he would miss the race.
George smiled after his father had gone as he quipped to Beryl, “That was a very good right hand punch you delivered there!”
“That was my succor punch!” She replied. “I have been trained to follow through my instincts and I respond fast. I float like a Butterfly and sting like a Bee!”
Copyright (c) Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved.
Image Copyright (c) John and Margaret