River work 12 February 2011
Glasgow Humane Society Officers and Lifeguards attended at Dalmarnock
Bridge on Saturday 12th February and using boats, ropes and pulleys managed to clear all debris from the south pier of the Bridge. Due to the flood currents, weather conditions and overgrowth on banking this was no easy task.
Around 200 metres of rope was in use.
The river was temporarily closed in this area during this operation which lasted for 6hrs. Tony and George thank all who participated in this excellent work.
Press release - 6th December 2010
GHS Warns: Don't take risks during cold spells
With the prevalent winter conditions, the Glasgow Humane Society (GHS)
lifeboat team is urging people to stay well clear of the city's icy
The GHS accident prevention experts are sending out a clear message this winter: be careful if you are anywhere near water, especially if you have been drinking.
George Parsonage and Tony Coia popularly dubbed 'Rivermen' give safety
advice on Glasgow's waterways using the 220 years experience of the Humane Society.
They have seen first-hand the dangers of mixing seasonal celebrations with the freezing rivers.
The Humane Society warns public to have extra vigilance at this time of year as there is a very real danger of slipping or falling in from icy river or
"Tragically, I've seen it happen before," adds George. "We really don't want any lives ruined this year - your own, or the lives of loved ones - because of one moment of silliness or over-confidence near water.
"Currents are fierce and the temperature in rivers such as the Clyde is
always remarkably low.
Children are also being reminded not to climb fences or play on railings
near the water. Never attempt to retrieve footballs or any other items that may have been lost to the fast flowing rivers or onto ice covered water.
Frozen waters may look attractive but there are many dangers
People should not venture onto ice
Dogs should be kept on leads near waterways
Too many persons have drowned though ice in recent years
Too many people have drowned trying to save dogs.
Tony Coia, an officer at the GHS, advises people to immediately dial 999 if
they spot someone in the water.
"The first thing to do is call the emergency services, never under any
circumstances enter the water yourself. We do not want to be recovering two casualties." Coia says.
Unfortunately, lifebelts and their ropes are regularly stolen or vandalised
and they are all too often not in place when desperately needed to save a life.
Tony adds, "It is concerning that anyone would damage such important
equipment. We would like to remind people that a stolen lifebelt can mean a stolen life".
Already this winter we have chased away people who were walking on ice, even a man with a 6yr old child. We have reports of persons throwing lifebelts onto frozen waterways just for fun.
We have seen many people without their dogs on leads
Notes to editors:
Glasgow Humane Society
Established in 1790, the Glasgow Humane Society is the world's oldest
practical life-saving organisation. The charity has unmatched experience and expertise of waterways across the Greater Glasgow area. The charity's sole aim is the preservation of human life and it is involved with day-to-day accident prevention measures in all of Glasgow's waterways from its base in Glasgow Green.
The Clydesdale Head of the River Race for scullers was held last Saturday
(9th October). Over 200 competitors with accompanying coaches/trainers/
friends/families converged on Glasgow Green and enjoyed good weather and a great days racing.
Lifeguards and Officers were on the water from around 0830hrs until 1530hrs with 7 boats being used for additional safety cover at various parts of the course.
One spectator was silly enough to climb out along the metal piling at the
top sewage works outflow to take photographs of passing scullers. This is a very dangerous thing to do and a terrible example to younger and less experienced. If they see an adult behaving like this, they are inclined to copy.
Forby the obvious danger of falling into the water, this was at a sewage
outflow where a fair amount of sanitary waste enters the water from a pipe below the surface and there are currents caused by the rate and amount of water flowing out of the pipe. He was advised to leave this position to which he complied.
Noted on Google Recreation sport
Quote from BBC and link given to video
After almost 60 years and the rescue of about 1,000 people, a boat used by the Glasgow Humane Society took its final journey today. The rowing boat, called Bennie, will now become an exhibit in the new Museum of Transport being built on the banks of the Clyde.
Great to see Mr. Parsonage out on the Clyde with the boat I've seen many times on race days there - both of them being a real credit to the GHS and the great work that they've done on the Clyde over the years together. Being tongue in cheek for a minute' the last tens of seconds of the video clip show George rowing past the camera *while standing up* in clear breach of "The Rules"! (As an impudent youngster cox I got on the wrong side of George a few years ago when I stood up to explain squaring to bow pair in a stationary novice 8 without speakers - right on his doorstep)
There is a difference though between him standing up when he's got the oars, and a cox standing up when a bunch of novices have got the oars.
Also--Key differences: the boat is stable, George is skilled & vastly experienced, & to get to a drowning person he could need to stand up & scull back towards them. Without his skills, his dedication & his willingness to face risks for minimal reward, many hapless Glaswegians would have drowned. George has been more valuable to humanity than almost anyone I know (& pretty useful to rowing, too).
Safety is not an absolute. It can't be guaranteed. Rules dreamt up behind desks to "ensure safety" have prevented people from making feasible rescues "because they lacked training". That obliged them to break the rules or watch someone die, which is cost-benefit analysis gone mad. You can't price one life against another, Training can make you less at risk but, ultimately, altruism demands that risks be taken.
Everyone's ability to think & handle risk should be extended, rather than living in cocoons in the foolish belief that risk can be eliminated. Training does really matter but we all need to be more "can do". The chance of injury or death in saving life should be acceptable.
Finally, if George bollocks you for standing up in an eight (not usually something anyone needs to do), you'll remember he's learned the hard way & knows what mixes pointlessness with danger. Respecting his life spent dealing with the mess of others' folly & misfortunes, you'll just sit down. That ensures he won't have to rescue you as well, which keeps him a bit safer.
Cheers - Carl
Racing Shells Fine Small-Boats/ Aero Wing Low-drag Riggers/
Thursday 8th July, the new Jennies Bridge was lowered into place.
The bridge rail is an excellent example of safety railing. Good height and vertical bar. A lifebelt pole will be erected at the bridge. There is still a fair amount of groundwork to be carried out, but hopefully the bridge will open soon then perhaps something will be done about the terrible state of the riverbank between this bridge and Rutherglen Bridge.
We can only advise and hope.
The Decommissioning service of the Bennie took place on Sunday 27th July.
Over 100 persons attended which was quite good considering we clashed with a certain England v Germany football match. The service was conducted by the Rev Peter Davidge with assistance from Rev John Whiteford and the Clydebank Burgh brass band and friends played melodies and hymns.
At one point the wonderful service was rudely interrupted by the Klaxon for the phone going off; thankfully it was not an emergency and was only a lovely wee lady with a wrong number.
After the speeches decommissioning and official commissioning of the other boats, a fine spread was partaken of in the Garden of the GHS House, many thanks to all those who helped provide the food and all those that attended.
Recently Tony and George posed around at the opening of the new Marine Skills Centre at the Nautical College. Lifeguard Mark McKay was also in attendance taking photographs of Tony and George posing. An excellent buffet was partaken of, charmingly distributed. The College Cadets were perfectly turned out on either side of the approach road to the Centre.
George managed to crash a ship in the lagoon in Venice, and Tony came close to being sea sick with the very big waves (on the simulator). Even though this was a social night out, we had to keep a watching brief and report, young men having climbed the fencing and going right down the riverbank opposite the College. Thanks to the College for the invite.
The Society AGM has came and gone ably chaired by Mr Jim Moffat in the absence of Mr John Park. We are thankful to all who continue to support the Society and to the City Council for their excellent buffet and Deputy Lord Provost Allan Stewart for his kind words An official photograph was taken of all who attended.
On Saturday 27th June a film crew employed by the new transport museum were in attendance at Glasgow Green from 0800hrs until 1700hrs filming mock operational procedures in the Bennie lifeboat before its imminent move to the museum where it will be dried out carefully before appearing as part of a grand Glasgow Humane Society display when the new museum opens. Thanks go to LG Ben who allowed himself to be rescued a fair number of times.
Sunday 28th June saw the decommissioning of the Bennie. Over 100 persons attended which was a good number considering that there was some other event taking place and being shown on the television. An article on the decommissioning will appear at a later date.
The Standing Boats by George Parsonage Riverman Art 2010
On 6th June 2010, George completed his sculpture on the riverbank inside the Society Compound.
This sculpture epitomises the "junk sculpture"idiom in which George has worked since graduating from the Glasgow School of Art in 1967.
Boats used in this art work were involved in crashes on the river, and therefore forby commanding a place in Glasgow Green as a work of Art, it is a warning to all river users that if they do not behave and follow the Rules and Guidelines for safe behaviour, their boat could end up in a similar sculpture.
The hulls of the boats are placed facing south west into the prevailing winds
I have recently been talking about the yearly clearance of foliage and growth along our river banks.
Although we have had a large clearance under the Sustrans contract between Rutherglen and Dalmarnock Bridges, we have not had the usual clearance of both south and north banks between the Tidal Weir and Rutherglen Bridges.
The result is that Hogweed and knockweed which is usually dealt with during
the months of March and April when it starts to show through the ground, is
now rampant and will soon flower and seed giving us more problems for the
Last week there was a programme on Television outlining the dangers of Hogweed and any doubters regarding the dangers of this plant have only to Google "hogweed" to find the real truth. If something is not done soon about this persons walking along the towpath throughout Glasgow Green or walking along the south bank along Adelphi Street, will not be able to view much of the River.
This will be especially disappointing during the World Pipe Band Championships and the Glasgow Festival and puts us back again in the programme we drew up which hoped to have these "plants" eradicated (or got rid of as much as possible) before the Commonwealth Games in 2014.
The Glasgow Humane Society is fighting this corner and hopefully results will be forthcoming.
You may be wondering what is happening regarding the upgrading of the towpath upstream of Rutherglen Bridge.
There are so many groups involved in work on this section due to the build up for the Commonwealth Games, that attempts are being made/meetings held, to bring everyone together with a co-ordinated scheme to achieve the best results possible while at the same time ensuring hard to come by cash is not wasted—watch this space.
Debate is taking place regarding the Hogweed that is showing itself through the ground just now, as to how much a danger it is (if in any doubt look it up on Google) and how best to get rid of it.
With Tony and I spending so much time at Erskine (see recent achievements), we have slipped back a bit in our other work such as cleaning, repairing, painting/varnishing craft in readiness for the forthcoming events at which we will give safety cover.
We are catching up on this I am glad to say, and much of the fleet is beginning to look ship shape again.
We are also working in conjunction with Highland Colour Coating Ltd who has produced a lifebelt pole with high viz yellow colour as an example of what lifebelt poles should look like. This pole is sited outside the House at Glasgow Green.
We are delighted with the work of Restorative Justice/Glasgow Community Safety Partnership in painting the railings along the river Clyde.
Under our guidance, boom gate barriers have been painted yellow as have all lifebelt poles and positions.
This work is ongoing and we hope it will be continued upriver as the gates throughout Glasgow Green and the opposite banking require re-painting as does the railing and lifebelt poles at Govan.