Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Some people need protecting from themselves.

Sometimes you read a news story and sit back and wonder if you've actually read it properly, so you re-read it and find that yes, you did read it properly.

So you sit for a while longer and try and construct the events in your mind, try and figure out just what a person or persons were thinking of when they embarked on a course of self-destruction of such high stupidity that if there were a cult for stupid people then they would be the Great High Grand Master of Stupidity.

Such a story emerged yesterday.

Lindisfarne (Holy Island) is a particularly beautiful, yet deserted part of the Northumberland coast, sheltered in a bay of tidal mud flats stands the island linked to the mainland by a causeway that is covered by the tide twice a day, it was an excellent place to build a monastery in 635AD especially in that part of Northern England which was frequently in dispute from various tribes and nationalities who invaded that part of the country for the next 1000 years or so.

But the natural defence of having your only access route covered in deep water twice a day now causes modern day visitors a problem - they want to visit the island and the remains of the monastery, but how do they know when the causeway will be covered ?

Its a problem isn't it ?

I mean, you wouldn't want to drive your car across the causeway only to find that you get stranded on the island for 12 hours when the tide comes in and you're not watching, do you ?

But wait you say, surely a knowledge of the tides is all that is needed in order to time your visit on the outgoing tide and return before the incoming tide, surely thats all you need to do ?

Yes, that is indeed the answer, and thats why the local council have a fekking gret big sign at the mainland side of the causeway to advise you when the tides are, this week and every week through the year.

The idea is that you dirve up to the sign, you read it, you spot when the tide is coming back in, you decide whether or not that is long enough for your visit and you either turn around and don't bother or you drive on and enjoy your visit.

Very simple then.

So yesterday a family of four, including children aged two and four turned up, presumably ignored the sign, presumably ignored the fact that they couldn't actually see the causeway because it was covered in water, and decided that it was probably only shallow water (it wasn't) and set off on the couple of hundred yard journey, driving through the sea on a causeway that they couldn't see at all.

Enter the RAF with a rescue helicopter to winch them to safety after their car started to float int he waist deep water halfway across, personally I'd have winched the kids to safety and left the adults to swim back, telling the kids "its for your own good, we'll find you some more parents with brain cells, you'll thank us for this one day".

No comments: