What the Reporter told us:
A year after a local authority abandoned cost-cutting plans to remove the night watchman at this harbour, an intoxicated man decided to go for a dip at about 1am but got into difficulty. The night watchman spotted him in the water and threw a lifebelt to him whilst raising the alarm to the Coastguard. The RNLI subsequently attended. They located the casualty who was using the life ring deployed by the night watchman. The casualty was brought aboard the lifeboat and transported the short distance to the shore where he was assisted by our crew members and passed into the care of the ambulance crew.
This incident illustrates the importance of having someone on hand at the quayside. It was only last year that the post was close to being scrapped, and given the increasing activity at the port, the role of the night watchman is vital. Another life saved by the night watchman – that’s two this year. I think we all know alcohol and vessels just do not mix, and alcohol has no place on vessels or around harbours. I’m told by the RNLI that if it wasn’t for the actions of the night watchman this guy would have lost his life.
Again, you and CHIRP were vital in keeping the night watchmen in their jobs and this shows the work you do has saved lives.
CHIRP was happy to have of been of assistance in ensuring that this important role was continued, and the value of the role has been categorically proven with the saving of lives. We would also reinforce the fact that alcohol and swimming are an extremely dangerous combination.