Last night we committed to a beach watch, 8 hours stationed surveying the sea. It was bitterly cold, the whipping wind making it feel colder than it actually was. We sat from midnight until 8 am, occasionally stomping across the pebbled sand to stave off sleep. After a while your eyes play tricks on you and you see phantom boats on the horizon.
We parked next to the life guards – such was our fear that should we be confronted with a boat. Being armed with a camera and notepad was hardly sufficient.
Whilst the life guards jump started our car (on account of having sat with the headlights and heater on) they told us they were tracking a large boat coming in – carrying circa 150 people – but it was on course to hit the north of the island. They were deliberating on whether to do the hour drive up to the spot, leaving the south coast without a rescue boat. Given the number of landings at the spot we were stationed, they decided to stay put. So we sat, at one point up to 12 cars all lined up with their headlights beckoning into the distance.
When dawn came we hadn’t had any arrivals but we subsequently heard the large boat was carrying 200 people and along with two other boats it landed safely on the northern coast. 12 other boats landed in the south throughout the morning.
Not everyone is so fortunate…