Monday 18 June 2007
Sunday was a good day for Tulo Tuala. He and a friend went fishing on Saturday, and spent the night lost and tightly holding on to the sides of their 2.5 metre boat until 9 a.m. when rescue crews saved them.
This all happened off Wellington New Zealand’s Makara coast. The air temps went down to –3 degrees overnight. In the evening on Saturday, some rescue boats passed in the distance, and even though Tuala and friend lit towels soaked in petrol to try to attract their attention, it was to no avail.
When their engine failed as they checked nets in the evening, they were out of mobile phone range and at the mercy of nature. They were found about 25 kilometres off Mana Island at 9am, transferred on to the Mana Coastguard boat Pelorus and brought to shore cold and shocked but happy to be back on land.
Mana Coastguard president Chris Seaton said it was a wet, cold rescue in choppy seas. Senior Constable Andrew Cox, of the maritime police, said the men were found with the help of Vodafone staff, who were able to determine the distance and direction of their mobile phone from the nearest tower.
Meanwhile in the Blue Mountains outside Sydney, two teachers and 12 students from Arndell Anglican College were winched to safety after their path was blocked by rising flood waters in the Megalong Valley on Saturday and they were forced to camp overnight there.
Some police and government officials have criticised them for putting their lives at risk by setting out in bad weather conditions.
John Godard is the principal of the school. He said, "We looked at the meteorological forecasts during the week and we sent detailed route maps both to the police at Katoomba and to the National Parks service. Neither of those groups advised us not to go and so we feel that we had all the preparations made."
Yesterday afternoon another four men were rescued from the Nepean River. They told police they had hung from branches after being swept from their riverbank camping spot.
One was rescued by a civilian boat, and three were retrieved by helicopter, but none sustained serious injuries.
Late tonight police in several countries revealed information about a paedophile ring operating out of the UK. 4 Australians were arrested among many others globally. None of the 41 children were Australians but all of them have been rescued out of such an evil empire.
Rescue is worth all the trauma and searching and anxiety by those who are attempting to help. It seems a human longing, something deep in the psyche of people. We long to be saved from trouble; we long to help others who are in trouble.
Maybe it’s part of our hard-wiring. Maybe we were created by God to help and to be helped. No wonder the Bible says, “Rescue me, O LORD, from evil men; Preserve me from violent men,” (King David in Psalm 140). We ache for Beaconsfield miners to be saved; we long for lost hikers to be found. We celebrate rescue workers in police and fires and hospital assistance.
And all the while God wants to rescue us from our sin and from our shame. What a great God who has given us desire and passion like His to reach out and save people. And thanks be to God who rescued us from our selves. Luke described it well by quoting Jesus who said, “the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them.” (quoted in chapter 9 verse 56)