Alex belongs to: Tynemouth Volunteer Life Brigade
Alex joined the Tynemouth Volunteer Life Brigade in 1950. He is now the Brigade's chairman. Alex worked as a fish merchant on North Shields Fish Quay and is chairman of the Fishermen's Mission.
Alex was interviewed by Carl Greenwood on 15 February 2006. The interview took place at the interviewees's living room and lasted 29 minutes and 48 seconds.
Changes in rescue equipment
"In those days the TVLB used flares, flares for identification"
In those days the TVLB used flares, flares for identification. They used a type of lamps- in the very early days they used carbide lamps, and this went on until after the war. By the time I had joined the brigade we were changing over to lanterns, which were handheld lanterns and electric light torches of this sort, nothing as strong as the ones we use today. We now use halogen lamps- very, very modern lighting. This went on until we got our first vehicle. And then we could adapt the vehicle to transmit light onto the scene. And the most important thing to anyone thatís in trouble on a ship, stuck on the rocks, or, if they see light, they know thereís help coming. And this is one of the reasons why we always answer when we arrive, or we did answer with a white flare to show help was on hand, hang on. Because more people loose their lives through leaving their ship and trying to swim it than just staying on board waiting for a rescue. Thatís the theory of it- every rescue thatís done is different. You have to go along on the day, assess the situation and carry it out to the best of your ability with the equipment that youíve got.
Alex has 11 memories in the memorynet:
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