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Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Nanny's dystopian madness

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency launches a campaign to get beach anglers to wear life jackets with the case studies of the five anglers who drowned last year - none of them on a boat at the time;

January, 2008. Holyhead: A man packed a dinghy full of fishing equipment and pushed it out, walking into the water to follow it and board the vessel, but stopped dead in the water, went under the surface and drowned. The assumption is that he suffered cold water shock and became unconscious - if he was wearing a lifejacket it may have kept him afloat long enough to receive medical attention.

July - Belfast. A man was in the water after cockle picking on Scotchman Rock when his punt broke away. The man tried to recover it and was declared deceased later at hospital. No lifejacket worn.

July - Sound of Islay. A male angler in his 70s was swept off by the current. His waders filled with water and dragged him under. No lifejacket worn.

September - Polzeath. A 32 year old male angler was swept off the rocks into the sea, possibly while trying to recover some fishing gear. No lifejacket evident.

December - Aberdeen. A Polish rock fisherman was swept away by large wave. No lifejacket worn.

Now it may have escaped the notice of the MCA - or perhaps they have not yet extended their watery bureaucratic kingdom so far inland - but every year in the UK around fifteen people drown in swimming pools (RoSPA figures) - three times as many swimmers as anglers. The case studies could read:

January - Doncaster. Boy, 15, tries to 'bomb' his pal in the deep end but hits his head and drowns. Not wearing a life jacket.

March - Ipswich. Girl, 14, pushed in the deep end by a group of other girls. Not noticed by pool guard and drowns. No evidence of a life jacket.

OK, I won't go on. You get the point.

We're a nation of sixty million people. The 2004 Drew Report estimated that 1.1 million were sea anglers. Accidents happen. Five deaths a year in a hobby with over a million participants is peanuts. To make a fetish of safety to this extent is just madness. But you knew that.


Anonymous said...

Might be worth checking whether anyone at the Maritime and Coastguard Agency has shares in a lifejacket manufacturer/owns a shop selling lifejackets. 1.1m anglers is a market well worth tapping.

W. S. Badfellowe said...

All swimmers in all swimming pools to wear life-rafts, I mean, lifejackets and only to swim when there is a full-time fully-staffed Tamar class RNLI Lifeboat also in the pool.

The sooner we replace the oceans with plastic ball pools the safer we'll all be. Provided that they're not too deep of course and the plastic for the balls is non-toxic, recycled and soft.

Bill Quango MP said...

We are so soft.
I have been brainwashed myself. Sitting on a tram in France last year slightly panicking that the children would fall out as there was no chain on the side.
It took a few minutes before I realised that all the French kids couldn't be falling out all the time or there would be a door... And that I used to regularly jump on the Double deckers while in motion, alight safely from a slam door carriage, play cricket without a helmet etc.

Still, it was a nervous few minutes but I'm happy to report that as we approached our destination no one had died.

Anonymous said...

Anyone fishing for Polish rocks in British waters is just asking for it. I prefer using a float lure for pumice myself.

Daniel Earwicker said...

I think about 300 people per year die by falling down the stairs, so the case studies could read:

"Edna P (Mrs), fell down the stairs, was NOT harnessed to a certified domestic winching system at the time, tut tut."