Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Another life saved

I hauled a lady from the canal he other day but it wasn't half as exciting as it sounds and there was absolutely no heroism involved, unfortunately. I really would like to be a hero just once. I was on the way to the water point at the terminus of the Ashby when I bumped into someone familiar and stopped the boat to have a chat. On leaving, they told me that the other boat in front of me was captained by a bit of a faffer (someone who faffs around, ie not getting the job done in a timely manner). I then fell in behind them with this in my mind. At the water point he winded and seemed to moor up in the winding hole so I passed to fill with H2O thinking that he'll be faffing around.

Hose out, cap off and start to fill when said faffer arrived and announced that he thought that it was customary for the first to arrive to get to fill up first. I said he was absolutely right but that I didn't know his intentions, to take my hose off and fill his own tank. He decided not to and did some more faffing about. I saw out of the corner of my eye his wife was shooing Sam away from sniffing her mooring lines (can't imagine what the problem was there). I remember thinking at the time, 'faffers and dog haters'.

About twenty seconds later I heard another boater shouting that someone had fallen in the water. I ran back to faffer's boat and found it was his wife who had fallen in. She was looking a little bedraggled and shocked as her husband was holding onto her by the scruff of her neck. We each took an arm and hauled her out and a sorrier sight would be difficult to imagine. By this time others had arrived and I left the scene (I don't do after-incident consolation).

After the tank was full I reversed out of the water point and asked if she was ok but he wanted someone to blame and told me that if I hadn't have jumped in front of him it wouldn't have happened. Well, I wasn't to blame and told him so. He did however thank me.

Was I wrong to jump in front just because I had heard he was a faffer from a third party? On reflection, I probably was. I  don't usually take any notice of what anyone else says but, on this occasion, I did. It just goes to show that the vast majority of incidents on the canals are communication related (don't try to jump onto a boat that is not on the bank).

So what's the moral of all this and what's to be learnt. Why did the lady fall in the water after shooing Sam away from her lines? Did Sam have something to do with this? Is Sam a wizard dog who can make accidents happen to those who cross her? I'll endeavor to be nicer to the dog in future, just in case.

But I probably won't be any nicer to faffers.

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