The Magazine for Underwater Professionals
ONCE UPON A TIME, an old diver was walking back to his care home, when he came across an abandoned, broken-down washing machine on the beach. He was a kind old diver and he liked helping people.
“My goodness!” said the kind old diver. “That rubbish is a danger to the public and the environment.” So he took it to an environmentally friendly disposal centre.
“Hello, hello, hello,” said an official-looking man. “I know that broken washing machine. It weighs over 100kg and it has been abandoned on the beach, below the high water mark, for longer than 12 months.”
“Yes sir. Isn’t it a shame,” replied the kind old diver. “Children could get hurt playing with it.”
The official-looking man strangely became very angry and he lost his temper.
“And do you have an MMO licence to remove broken washing machines from the beach?” he asked. “They cost you £50.”
“No sir,” said the kind old diver. “I just removed it because it was a potential danger to the public and the environment.”
“Then you’re nicked. I’m a very important official of the MMO. You will have to pay a fine of £4000 for that.”
“That doesn’t make any sense! I was only removing a potential danger to the public and the environment,” pleaded the kind old diver, as he brushed past the MMO official, momentarily touching his shoulder.
“And that was ‘assault’. I will prosecute you in court for that,” shouted the very important MMO official. “You will have to pay another fine and you will be branded as a criminal for the rest of your life.”
AND THEY ALL LIVED UNHAPPILY EVER AFTER.
When you meet a Marine Management Organisation official, don’t expect common sense to prevail.
100 years ago
Trinity House, which employed several full time divers, suffered the loss of a diving boat from its Light Vessel No 31 during a gale in 1918. So the management sanctioned the acceptance of a tender to supply a replacement diving boat the same year.
150 years ago
“It is stated that, according to the last accounts from the island of St Thomas, the work of the divers is progressing. A company of American divers, using Heinke’s apparatus, were also in operation; but the earthquakes entirely unsettled the labour of the negroes, and yellow fever had interfered with the engineering hands. Messrs Easton and Amos have lost one at work in the dock, and one of Mr Heinke’s men has also died from the effects of the climate.” The Times, 1 January 1868.