POEM 5: "THEY WHO GO DOWN TO THE SEA"

This poem was written following Dad's hearing, on the marine band of his radio, a distress call from the trawler 'Boston Pionair' on the night of February 16th, 1965. Two empty life rafts were seen but, despite an exhaustive sea and air search, no trace of the boat was found. Dad alerted the coastguard and was later featured in the local press and on radio for his positive intervention.

 

When storms around the coast do blow,
I leave TV for radio.
There's plenty doing on the air:
Messages from everywhere.

Link calls via Cullercoats
From cargo ships to pilot boats.
Deck hands ringing up their dames
From ships with foreign sounding names.

A trawler skipper phones his wife -
She knows it's tough, a sailor's life -
Telling her he's safe and well,
His storm-tossed vessel's living hell.

A recent message out of space
Gave details of a rescue race.
"Landlubbers, listen! Have a care!"
For ill-fated 'Boston Pionair'.

This message, urgent and in bits
Linked frigates 'Murray' and 'St Kitts',
With keen, efficient men in charge
To rescue near the drilling barge.

A Shackleton with yellow belly
Flies in to search, from Ballykelly.
Yellow aircraft spell 'Rescue'.
The plane may be yellow but not its crew.
They're daring offspring of the few,
These boys of RAF all know
There's chaps in danger down below.

Down they swoop, with burning flare,
They'll save those lives, if life's still there.
Two empty life rafts tell a tale,
All too familiar in path of gale.
The trawler's foundered with all hands.
Fate once again has played her hand.

To those who sit neath sheltered roof
This awful drama's living proof
The sea is cold and cruel; aloof
To wives who sit alone and weep
For those in peril on the deep.

Life's tragedies are these, I know:
Drama from my radio.

 

Douglas R. Tallet, February 1965

 


Click here to find the first poem. "To an absent one" Written at the time of Richardís first leaving home to go to Newcastle University
Click here to find the second poem. "Wishing" Also written at this time, which appears to have been quite traumatic for Dad
Click here to find the third poem. "Summer beach" A word picture of Redcar beach on a busy Summer day
Click here to find the fourth poem. "Coast conscious" In praise of living at the coast
Click here to find the sixth poem. "September Morning" Images of an early morning in Redcar
Click here to find the seventh poem. "For services rendered" 25 years of employment at Head Wrightson
"Five day week" Weekend pleasures away from the office


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