BOB CURTIS: Supporting unit's great work
THEY say charity begins at home. Well, not always. Mr Peter Day, who's deeply involved with Brixham Hospital's League of Friends, requested I mention an event planned to take place at Torquay's Grand Hotel, on the evening of October 11.
Beginning at 7.30pm, it's in aid of the Ricky Grant Daycare Unit at Torbay Hospital.
Torbay's Ricky Grant Day Centre is the haematology/oncology department which provides comfort, support and treatment for people with blood and tumour problems.
We sometimes take for granted the depth of care that different sections of the NHS provide for us.
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Talk to folks from various European countries or the United States and they'll quickly tell you just how expensive medical treatment can be in their countries.
Many envy the ease in which we British receive quality assistance in our time of need.
Needless to say, like many things in life there are certain necessary 'extras' not supplied by the NHS and that's where conscious organisations reach out to offer a helping hand.
In this instance, to assist the great work done by the Ricky Grant Unit, a fashion and cabaret show by Danielli of Dartmouth is being held at Torquay's Grand Hotel on October 11.
Tickets are a available by phone on the following numbers, 842261, 323942, 833233 and 850647. Oh yes, there will also be a raffle in aid of Animals in Distress. Great stuff!
FROM within the fishing communities stretching from the Scottish Highlands, down to small harbours along the south coast of England, a feeling of confused sadness eased into the thoughts of folk, both connected and unconnected with the fishing industry, following the loss of the Brixham-registered trawler Sarah Jayne on Tuesday, September 11.
There's really no need to tell fisherman how dangerous their occupation can be.
The risks are constantly there as they tackle the daily act of trying to drag a living from the restless sea.
They never complain. It's just… well, life!
Over the years, modern trawling equipment and well-maintained boats have slightly eased the various problems but fisherman acknowledge that the power of the sea will always be there, waiting… sometimes reaching out, without rhyme or reason, displaying its awesome might.
As word spread regarding the sinking of BM 249, fishing some six miles off Berry Head in what can only be considered moderate weather, trawls were hurriedly hauled, landings halted and boats sitting in port quickly put to sea to help in the search for the Sarah Jayne's survivors.
As a port, Brixham is blessed with having the Fisherman's Mission to assist and comfort the families of those who are lost at sea.
Likewise, the fishing industry warms to the technical assistance from our own coastguard station, when such tragedies happen. Sadly, the question arises, but for how much longer do we have our own coastguards?
Several passing merchant vessels, the Royal Navy, other fishing boats, plus a helicopter from Portland and lifeboats from Exmouth and Torbay, joined in the frantic search for missing skipper/owner Geoff Ingram (pictured).
The only good news of the morning was that the two crewmen from the stricken trawler had been rescued by the Teignmouth boat, Girl Rona and returned safely ashore.
People, without any real working knowledge of the sea or indeed the fishing industry, questioned why the wreck wasn't searched for the missing skipper?
Accepted, it's probably the first thought that those searching consider, but, just suppose he'd somehow got clear and was floating in the cold sea, being carried by wind and tide away from the scene… no, the first reaction is to spread out from the last known position and keep looking.
One thing that warms this aging maritime brain is the way people from small port communities come together. Silently resolving that, come what may, they'll carry on the struggle against the ever-changing emotions of the mighty ocean.
We also spare a thought for folk like skipper David Hurford, former owner of Sarah Jayne. 'Hurfie' sold the trawler, named after his daughter, to his old friend Geoff Ingram from Exmouth and will be feeling the loss more deeply than most.
The spirit of determination beats on in the warm hearts of those who go down to the sea and do their business in great waters.