For better or verse?

A bitter campaign has been launched by supporters of two patrol boats based in Hope Cove and Tamar, Devon which the MCA are considering withdrawing from service because proper RNLI lifeboats are stationed nearby.

Now solicitor Barrie Youde, the campaign organiser, has committed his protest to verse:


Four people swam at Challaborough, one fine summer morning;
Frolicking, as humans do. Carefree of all warning.
Of course they were. The sun was out. All perfect for a dip.
All heedless of the state of tide or chance of tidal rip.

Alas! They were caught out. Not first, nor will they be the last
To under-rate the tidal stream at  times of running fast.
Alarm! Somebody saw them!  Someone gave  the proper shout!
Call the Coastguard right away! Get the Lifeboat out!

Where is the nearest Rescue Boat? A mere three miles away.
At, Inner Hope, on station, ready, just across the Bay.
What then does the Coastguard do, (could this occur in Devon?)
He orders out a Salcombe boat. Not three miles, but eleven!

“DORSET” is the formula which men once learned at school.
Distance Over Speed is Time, as known by any fule.
When time becomes of essence in acute emergency,
Three miles beats eleven. That much any fool can see.

Why was not the Hope Boat called? Incompetence or what?
For sins of lesser magnitude, people have been shot.
Delay was in the rescue by the Coastguard’s own design.
Please God he’s kept away from all affairs of yours and mine.

What then, of the swimming four? Pure luck was on their side.
How lucky was the Coastguard on that day, that no-one died?
How long can this continue?  Here is nonsense in our time.
The common law suggests that here is evidence of crime.

To endanger public safety ; or refuse to carry out
A public office: Either of these things beyond a doubt
Are common law offences where a man may stand indicted.
God Save the Queen and Sanity! May public wrong be righted?

Pic: verbalpress