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Thursday, 15 April 2010

Maritime Emergency Services on High Alert

The forthcoming national election has triggered the Maritime Emergency Services to raise their operational status to ‘Super Red’ – the highest ranking – putting all areas into extreme vigilance mode.

A spokesperson said, “It’s always like this on a run-up to Election Day and, whilst we do know what to expect, it does cause us a lot of extra work and planning. All staff leave has been cancelled and extra personnel have been drafted in, including recently retired professional rescuers.

“The problem is caused by the huge increase in floating voters who always appear as soon as the electioneering machine swings into action. Many floaters are well aware of the risks posed by the natural elements but many do feel out of their depth, even in inland waters. The biggest risk is that many soon find themselves in over their heads and soon become so disillusioned that they need to be rescued before ennui sets in. Most, thankfully however, survive on their own and are fully recovered by 10.00 pm on Election Day.

“Of course they still remain a significant hazard to shipping and we would ask masters of all vessels to be on the lookout for these persons. They can be distinguished from the usual rescuee by their pale face, blank look and flapping arms; often heard to be muttering ‘What’s the effing point?’

“Whilst they will be ok left to their own devices, on no account should anyone utter the word ‘manifesto’, nor approach whilst wearing a rosette. This will cause them to immediately loose the will to live. Organisers of Gymkhanas have been notified accordingly.

“I would urge the public not to take any chances and report all sightings of people apparently in distress. We have had the odd floater suddenly change their mind and decide to vote for a candidate. This causes the individual to suddenly become aware of their surroundings, panicking to the point of needing instant rescue.”

I wish all the Emergency Services personnel a safe and quiet Election period.

“As a precaution, I would ask all floating voters to ensure that they wear a life-preserver/jacket at all times, carry a whistle, torch, two-way radio and wear a hard hat with the letters FV clearly marked in bold black Arial font 360 on the front. You can’t compromise where safety is concerned.”

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