Tuesday, October 04, 2011
Some time ago I was sitting on my boat and I heard the gentle bang of the lift bridge. Then I heard it again. I was surprised because I haven't heard it bang much since it was electrified.
I looked out of the front doors and noticed someone manually opening it - which, to my astonishment, they actually managed to do. I decided I would meander over and see whether they needed some help as I had visions of a boat going through and the bridge dropping. As I approached the scene unfolded. There were 4 people sitting on the bridge arms and one person climbing up the slope.
I wasn't really sure what to do so I calmly approached them. 'Guys' I said in my I don't want to bother you but just thought I would say. They turned and I gently continued (and I mean gently) told them that someone climbed up the bridge and jumped off the other side breaking both their legs. I also said that was why the lift bridge was electrified and that I thought manually opening it caused problems.
We decided to slowly lower the bridge and see what happened. I tested the bridge afterwards with my electric key and it has worked fine since so I don't think any lasting damage was done. The guys were apologetic saying they didn't think/realise. I also told them of the girl who was messing about with a swing bridge and how her legs were chopped off. I calmly went on to tell them that the bridges look good fun but really they are quite dangerous. 'yeah' they said, 'we didn't realise' followed by 'wow' 'golly' 'yeah, sorry about that' and they walked off.
They didn't realise the lift bridge was electric but they did eventually notice the small sign that mentioned it and we commented on sign positioning before going our separate ways.
I don't know who they were but I came away feeling vaguely positive, calm and without feeling wound up or irritated. Many people I know would have shouted and screamed at them and I am not sure the end result would have 'felt' the same or even been the same. Of course, they may have decided to put a black mark against boaters from now on, but I am not so sure. Either way I hope they heard and won't come to any harm, or do harm.
Did I treat them with respect? I hope so. Either way respect is an important thing. Respect for our environment, the structures on the waterways and for people even when they so blatantly seem to be getting it completely and utterly wrong and flying in the face of reason.