Cramond rescue: 'The words of outrage will fall on deaf ears'

THE words of outrage from the man who organised a party which ended in a mass rescue from Cramond Island are likely to fall on deaf ears.

Dean Jennings is clearly furious that he and his friends have been blamed after coastguards ferried 160 revellers to shore after the tide swamped the island's causeway.

He insists all the correct preparations had been made for the free, open-air event, and that all but a few hapless tourists were kitted out with tents and provisions for the night.

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Mr Jennings' argument that the emergency services overreacted may be designed to ensure that no-one now tries to prevent similar events in the future – and everyone should continue to be able to enjoy the island, so long as they take care of themselves and the environment.

But his claims stand at odds with the images the nation saw of the bedraggled young people landing on the mainland.

Sure, none of them looked particularly distressed. But for the most part they looked relieved to be back on dry land – and not many appeared to be carrying rucksacks and tents.

The bottom line is that the first the authorities knew about the event was when calls started to come in from people on the island who were surprised to find themselves trapped, cold and wet, and needing help.

At that point the police did what they thought was necessary for the safety of everyone involved, and ordered a rescue effort.

Mr Jennings shouldn't be put off trying to provide entertainment for his pals and customers. But from now on he might want to consider all the potential pitfalls when taking an event al fresco.

And all of those who were rescued can consider themselves lucky not to be landed with the 18,400 bill.

The right decision

THANK goodness common sense has prevailed in the case of 13-year-old Ciara McGearey, who will now be able to attend the Royal Blind School after all.

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In agreeing to share the cost of her fees, the city council has – albeit belatedly – done the right thing.

But there should never have been any argument once an independent tribunal had ruled that the institution offered the best option for Ciara's educational needs.

Well done to the army, which volunteered to pay half the fees, and her dad Mac, a soldier with the 1st Royal Tank Regiment, who refused to accept second best for his daughter.