Annual Calf Marking Trip's late return causes concern
Report from Dawn Repetto
On Wednesday 15th January, some of the island men went to the Caves and Stony Beach to mark calves. This is an annual event which happens in the summer months. Sometimes the guys go by boats and return the same day and sometimes they walk there and spend the weekend.
This boat trip started out like any other but by early afternoon Tristan Radio had not been able to contact any of the men via radio. No one was worried at the time as this sometimes happens. By 6pm that afternoon contact had still not been made and by this time boats going out for the day would be expected to have returned, so the community began to get worried and Administrator Alex Mitham decided to send out the two island RIBS to search for them as a precaution. Within 15 minutes the two RIBs were launched, one going in the westerly direction and one to the east.
By this time many ladies had gathered at the harbour awaiting the return of husbands, sons and brothers, concern grew and still there was no news. Within half an hour the radio message was passed that all was well and the boat was slowly on her way back from Stony Beach. As was tradition, ladies still today visit the harbour when a family member returns from sea with a cold beer or a soft drink. However, on this occasion they all dashed home to get hot drinks and biscuits in readiness for the boats return. At about 7.30pm the boat arrived safely back, there were lots of wet men and wet dogs but spirits were high and the community was relieved at their safe return. Big thanks to the RIB crews who went out at short notice, the island RIBs are a comfort to the island as they can get from a – b very quickly and can be used when weather conditions are not suitable for other boats.