Navy world produces comedy and tragedy in same week

Dear editor.

Two very different stories from two very different navies on the horizon around the same time.

Being a retired merchant mariner, I found the story out of Esquimalt, B.C. to be quite amusing. A Canadian Navy vessel taking part in exercises in San Diego was ordered to immediately return to base. It was reported that three members of the crew became intoxicated while on shore leave, resulting in separate cases of various misbehaviour. Just imagine, a sailor going ashore and getting drunk, then doing or saying things he regrets the next day when he sobers up; that doesn’t seem too much out of the ordinary. However, for the top brass to go completely overboard by returning the ship to base seems like something out of the comic opera “HMS Pinafore”.

From a politically correct comedy to a gruesome tragedy at the other end of the naval gazing spectrum, is the diabolical incident in Gaza City where four young boys were kicking around a football on the beach, when an Israeli gunboat just offshore opened fire, killing all four.

Call it serendipity, or whatever, but the world will know everything about this incident because it took place right in front of where the Foreign Press Corps were staying.

The Israeli government later said they would investigate. My question is quite simple: What will become of the ship’s personnel who committed this atrocious act?

With every device they have to track the goings on in Gaza, how did the Israeli government not know where the Foreign Press Corps were staying? Or is there a far more sinister message being sent to the world at large?

Bernie Smith

Parksville

 

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