A little while ago I happened upon a programme on BBC television about the lifeboat service around British coastal waters and the River Thames. The TV crew went out on various “call outs” from several different services (from Cornwall to the North east of England) and involved everything from a cliff top rescue of a dog, holidaymakers stranded on rocks with an oncoming tide, to a missing kayaker.
The crew members of all these boats (both male and female) are all volunteers and range from accountant, pub landlord, a chip shop owner, student and a trawler man. They all give of their time freely and on occasions put their own lives on the line to try to save others. In their full time day jobs they carry a “bleep” and when this goes off they just drop everything and scramble the lifeboat (a matter of minutes can make the difference between life and death for someone in the ice-cold waters). A pub landlord said that he often had to stop serving to run to the lifeboat station and leave the customers to serve themselves!
Probably everyone has heard of the RNLI even though most will have had the good fortune not to have had to call on theirs services. They are incredibly admired but perhaps sometimes taken for granted. So let me appraise you of a few facts:-
- The RNLI is the charity that saves lives at sea.
- Its volunteer lifeboat crews rescue an average of 24 people every day and RNLI lifeguards provide a seasonal lifeguard service on selected beaches.
- The RNLI is independent from Government and relies on donations from people like you.
Yes, I know it is hard to believe that they are a charity with no government funding………so tell me again how much we give in “Overseas Aid? what was that figure, “Oh. £13.3 billion”……………but we can’t fund the RNLI?
We have people putting their lives on the line, who receive no payment for what they do, they have to “beg” from the public for funds to keep going and yet the British Government see fit to waste billions of pounds on utterly useless “development” projects abroad usually with regimes riddled with corruption.
I do wonder at times what happened to sanity in this country…………