Thought I would contribute an item in the the interest of safe fishing. Especially with the recent death of a father and son at nearby Bicheno.
To most people with half a brain in their head going to sea in an old timber dingy without any of the mandatory safety equipment right on dusk would sound like a disaster looking for a place to happen. Well, this is exactly what I witnessed last week.
I had gone to Falmouth late afternoon for the change of the tide. To my astonishment while fishing from my favourite rock at the estuary mouth watched in disbelief as two young men in an old clinker hulled dingy no longer than twelve feet with an outboard no larger than three HP, motored past me and headed out into the open sea.
The bloke on the motor had both hands holding the outboard so as to give him more steering control through the surf, which by the way was steadily building. One wave nearly ended their sea faring adventure before it started but somehow, they made it through the surf and on their way further and further out into the darkening ocean.
A worried looking woman was standing at the viewing bench just down from the car and I proceeded to talk to her saying,''now I know what stupidity looks like.''
The woman replied telling me that was her son and one of his mates and that she didn't want either of them to go out of the estuary, especially on her son's twenty forth birthday. I thought to myself now Sandi, don't be judgmental.
The sun had set and the time was nearly 5.15 pm. The small cork like object by now just visible some two kilometers off shore was showing no sign of returning to the safety of the estuary.
From further talking to the woman I learnt the boat had no safe equipment on board nor had her son and his mate taken a mobile phone with them.
Seeing the woman wasn't one to push the panic button I suggested it was time for her to dial 000 and report the matter. To which she retreated to the nearby toilet to be sick, returning a little while later holding her stomach and looking as white as a ghost.
I offered to dial 000 myself but the woman said no, her son would be OK and he knows when to come in.
Two other much younger women and a young lad with a black dog who I have seen before at Falmouth were also there as part of the family who had come to the beach for an afternoon of fun. I believe the family lives at Falmouth.
I started to talk to them suggesting we were witnessing another possible boating disaster unfolding and that somebody should take the initiative and phone 000. To which I experienced a dressing down by one of the young women more or less saying to me to mind my own business.
The sky was now dark, the time 5.45 pm and I couldn't see the boat out to sea. I decided to hang around as a witness should the police if the were called, needed an independent statement.
By 6 pm the tiny cork of a boat showed itself in the surf, the two young men singing with joy as the maneuvered their way through the white water and into the shelter of the estuary. At this moment I decided to leave but not before the worried mother came over to me and thanked me for my concern. To which I stated, "'well lady, if your son was my son, I would be more worried about having any more children.''
Much to my disappointment I didn't have my camera with me to show you all what stupidity looks like.
Sandi from St Marys.