Well, wasn’t Wednesday a treat. Sitting here bored, not much work, just a bit of routine maintainence and loafing around when who should call, but that well known local character, Rocket. “Mate, get yer arse down to the harbour, there’s a boat alite and she’s goin’ like a good ‘un”.
Well, who could resist. Myself and Ben got a couple of Tigers and drove down to the harbour to watch the spectacle. And it was truly something. We parked up at the lighthouse (Farol) and watched the boat (see pic below, with thanks to ‘Timor Online’, and I’m not gonna pay any royalties, so sue me) drifting backwards and forwards, side to side etc in the prevailing wind. Now, we watched this for about 4 hours in total. Hundreds of people gathered on the shore, a lovely afternoon out. The new government should lay on this type of entertainment more often.
Now, all of this got me to thinking. I do sometimes. While we were watching it was obvious that the PNTL, UNPol’s and the ISF had neither a clue nor any orders on what to do. There was obviously no plan in place for this sort of maritime eventuality. Most of the ‘officials’ there were just basically doing the same as the rest of us. Taking happy snaps.
So, my proposal. Couldn’t some enterprising UN person, I know there are some, coordinate some sort of maritime emergency scheme. Nearly all of the boats in the harbour on Wednesday were privately owned and operated. It was the owner/operators and local ET guys who actually got the commercial boats out of the way of the burning ship. Also, being a port city, we frequently have small(ish) maritime emergencies. Nearly every February and March someone with a boat (a dive company or fishing charter) will get a call saying there is a boat foundering between Atuaro and the mainland and can you go and rescue the people in the dugout?
Is there a person who coordinates disaster/mishap relief.?You know, earthquakes, tsunamis, flooding, that type of thing. Maybe this person should get the ‘phone numbers of the boat owner/operators, keep them handy and when we do have a bit of a calamity on they can organize the boats collectively rather than the ‘every man for himself’ situation that we have at the moment.
Anyway, its just a thought.
By the way, I happened to spot a few Norwegians down there, tears in their eyes, saying things to each other like "when I go, will you make sure I go like that please Thor?"