My name is David and I would like to share 3 things that happened in my life while I was serving as a crew member on the St Ives lifeboat.
I became a Christian in 1957 at a Scripture Union camp in Somerset, but I did not really follow Jesus. I carried on doing what I wanted to do and did not seek to obey and Jesus and His word, the Bible.
In 1990 a vessel called the ‘Biscay Pride’ got into difficulties in St Ives Bay. Hurricane force winds were blowing and she was dragging her anchor towards the rocks at Gwithian. When we got to her she was very close to the rocks and time was running out. I remembered the Penlee lifeboat disaster was on my mind, and we were in the same situation. All I could think of doing was to pray, and I did!
‘God help us’ was all I said, and I meant it.
In my life as a fisherman, fishing off the coast of Cornwall, I have seen the wind get up very quickly, but I have never seen the wind die down so quickly. Within 10 minutes the situation had completely changed. The Biscay Pride had recovered her anchor and was heading out of St Ives Bay and up the Bristol Channel and the lifeboat was on her way back to St Ives. Jesus is still in the business of stilling the storms of life.
On another occasion, Christmas Eve 1992, the captain of a vessel broadcast a distress call saying he was sinking, and his crew were abandoning ship. During our search we were struck by a huge wave which put out most of our electrical equipment. I was standing on the starboard side when two waves hit. I was sent flying through the air. Everything was a blur, water, blackness, can’t breathe, swimming!
The next thing I remember as my darkness turned to light was the crew shouting my name.
‘David, can anyone see David, David overboard’. It was strange, because the next thing I knew I was standing right there with them.
‘I’m here, I’m ok.’
Did I go overboard? I think so, and so did the crew. So how did I get back on board? It could only have been the hand of God.
God says never will I leave you, never will I forsake you.
The last incident I would like to share happened at the beginning of my lifeboat career. A 19 year old Bristol boy had got caught in a rip tide whilst swimming at Hayle.
We were called out to help him, as we approached him we could see him frantically waving and shouting for help. He kept going under and when we got to him he had gone down for the last time. We could see his lifeless body motionless below the surface. We dragged him back to the surface by his hair. As we dragged him into the lifeboat, his lifeless body came back to life. We took him to the beach and he was taken by ambulance to the hospital.
We never did hear how he got on. I’ve often wondered whatever happened to him. God had saved his physical life. I wondered if God had a special plan for him.
The Bible tells us that ‘anyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’ Being saved physically is one thing, being saved spiritually is another.How do you stand? God loves you and sent His Son, Jesus, to save you. He is only a prayer away. I’verecommitted my life to Jesus and now live to please Him, He is my Lord and Saviour.