Say a prayer for a missing student of photography

grebeman

Old Codgers Group
On Thursday afternoon an 18 year old student of photography left his home in the hamlet of Membland to walk the mile or so to the coast in order to photograph the bad weather. Sadly he's not been seen since, that is over 48 hours and now the third night.

On Friday there was torrential rain with steady wind speeds in excess of 40mph and gusts to about 80mph. Todays search by the police, fire crews, coastguards, other search and rescue teams, the Plymouth Lifeboat and a search and rescue helicopter were joined by some 120 local volunteers, but no trace of the lad has been found.

Today the wind had dropped somewhat and there was a break in the rain, but more of both are forecast for tomorrow. These photographs were taken a mile or so west of where he was likely to have accessed the coast.


Looking east with Bolt Tail on the horizon


Looking west over Pilot Cove


A lone searcher on the rocks


The power of the sea


A Coastguard search and rescue team


The Plymouth Lifeboat


The Coastguard team


The Plymouth Lifeboat returns at speed, but it proved to be a false alarm

He was a photographer like us, so if you can spare a thought for him and his family. Whatever you do out there, stay safe.


Barrie
 

Lightmancer

Super Moderator
Aug 13, 2011
164
Sunny Frimley
Bill Palmer
A moment, please, to consider the welfare of those that have, through duty and as volunteers, members of the police, coastguard, RNLI and RNAS, been searching for this young man in atrocious and life-threatening conditions. I may sound harsh, but he made a conscious choice to put himself in harm's way. No-one can argue that he was unaware of the conditions when he went out - we have had two weeks of this weather. It will be a tragedy if he is not returned safely to his family, but it will be a tragedy squared if others are now harmed in the search for him.

Sent from another Galaxy
 

grebeman

Old Codgers Group
Bill,

We've yet to know the full circumstances, so whilst I agree that foolish decisions by people result in rescuers putting themselves in harms way, can we please reserve judgement. I've known that section of coast all my life and had he kept to the area that I traversed today he should have been relatively safe even in conditions of high wind and rain. I remember walking this coast on 17th january 1974 (whilst on leave from my job in the Middle East) when 3 Sea King helicopters (one bearing the Iron Cross of Germany) flew over me in an ESE direction. They returned some 90 minutes later having attended the Danish coaster Merc Enterprise which had turned turtle in 70 foot waves and 100 mph gust some 20 miles south of Start Point. Four crewmen, the captain's wife and son and another woman died that day, the rest of the 14 man crew were rescued. At no time did I consider that I put myself in danger despite the horrific conditions, although strangely there was a cloudless blue sky as I recall.

We've certainly seen incidents of blatent disregard for personal safety, the worst must surely be the two young parents who took there children, one a babe in arms, the other a toddler still requiring their hand to be held, onto a breakwater in Cornwall with seas breaking over it. He might have meet some other fate which would not be beyond the realms of possibility even in benign conditions.

I'm getting a little saddened by the way some threads on this forum get diverted in this manner, maybe it's time to post pictures with no words whatsoever, and then maybe not even that.

Barrie
 

Lightmancer

Super Moderator
Aug 13, 2011
164
Sunny Frimley
Bill Palmer
Barrie, you are right in that we have yet to know the full circumstances. Thus a balanced viewpoint is essential.

My Grandfather, a fourth-generation Royal Navy sailor, brought up in the Westcountry and based at Devonport, was very clear on one thing - you underestimate the sea at your absolute peril; it can change from benign to malign in an instant.

A tragedy may well have occurred; it is too early to be sure. But if more lives are lost in the search - they have already been put in danger - that would be unacceptable because avoidable.

The strange - and sad - thing about commonsense is that it is at times uncommon.

In any event, I am done here. My objective was to introduce balance - and objectivity. My thoughts are with all those in peril - on both sides of the Atlantic - from the extreme weather we are enduring.

Sent from another Galaxy
 

Richard

Top Veteran
Feb 1, 2013
104
Marlow, UK
I've just noticed a sad update about this on the BBC website:

Police searching for a teenager who went missing after going out to take photos of stormy seas on the Devon coast have found a body.

Harry Martin, 18, from Membland, Newton Ferrers, was last seen on 2 January.

A Devon and Cornwall Police spokesman said the body had not yet been formally identified.


16:46, 11th Jan.

-R
 

Richard

Top Veteran
Feb 1, 2013
104
Marlow, UK
Under slightly different circumstances that could once have been me. As a student living in Plymouth I would sometimes go out on photographic excursions along the coast. I was always too concerned about getting my precious cameras and lenses wet to go near the sea in rough weather, but I certainly would have walked those same cliffs with a camera on better days.

It's a very sad outcome.

-R
 

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