Nigel Farage has posted a photo of the Ramsgate RNLI lifeboat crammed full of illegal immigrants/refugees with the words “Sadly the wonderful RNLI in Kent has become a taxi service for illegal immigration, to the dismay of all involved. What a state of affairs”.
So are the RNLI doing what they are supposed to and saving lives at sea or have they become a taxi service for those looking to get to the UK?
It is a subject that divides the opinion as much as Brexit has done. Should the RNLI be getting involved in the current immigration crisis? The RNLI is funded by the public through donations and charitable events to help save lives at sea. Perhaps they are saving lives at sea by retrieving immigrants from dinghies, but how many of the immigrants are actually in distress?
Once again, the photo provided by Nigel seems to show the immigrants are made up predominately of young men. Do these people genuinely need saving or have they just attempted to cross the Channel in a vessel that is not suitable?
It would appear that the RNLI are caught between a rock and a hard place. The UK Border Force is completely inadequate and does not have enough vessels to pluck these asylum seekers from the sea. If the RNLI do not react, then they would be accused of not doing what they are there for – saving lives at sea. But when there are images day after day of the RNLI bringing boat loads of immigrants ashore, opponents are wondering if this is what an RNLI boat should be doing!
The problem for the RNLI is that people are now stopping donations, when they think their money is being used for purposes other than what it should. If the Ramsgate lifeboat is out in the Channel scooping young men out of dinghies, who will be there when one of our fishermen is in distress? Or a child gets swept out to sea on a lilo?
I just hope no one in the Thanet area required the services of the RNLI today whilst this was happening
The RNLI will say that they have enough resources to cover issues like this, but what a difficult position the government is putting them in. In other countries where they do not have the luxury of an RNLI service, the government would have to step up and take on the extra work. But here the poor RNLI are getting hit for it.
The majority of the men and women working on the lifeboats are volunteers too. It is not fair on them to give them this constant workload day after day. It is about time the RNLI used its substantial muscle, to put pressure on the government to sort out this crisis. Perhaps the RNLI are receiving payments from the government for the work they are doing in the Channel?
There is a fine line between saving lives of people at sea who have found themselves in peril, versus saving those who have clearly put themselves in harms way and ‘expect’ the RNLI to come and retrieve them. The crisis has reached the point where something must be done, but don’t count on your government to resolve it any day soon!