Tuesday, September 22, 2009
This photo of the Quayside by the Ferry Road slipway at Hullbridge gives no indication that within a week, two men have drowned here. The first was 21 year old Michael Cheek while trying to swim across the River and the second was 70 year old George Sargent when his car plunged into the water after travelling down the slipway. Needless to say these deaths have reminded me of the need for vigilance whenever I’m near or on the water. Over the years yachtsmen have drowned in the locality, always when using their dinghies between the shore and their yachts. A little further down the River Crouch at South Fambridge I was once knocked out my dinghy by the wake of a passing motor yacht, and it was with great difficulty that I managed to get back into the dinghy. The ‘driver’ of the motor yacht could not have been aware of my plight, as he continued ‘driving’ at great speed without a glance behind and without a care in the world. To add insult to injury, my outboard engine was lost to the depths, never to be seen again.
These drowning tragedies will remain with me for ever, and if any of the relatives or friends of the deceased read this, I want to express my sympathy to them for their loss.