The lifeboat volunteers of Britain’s Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) are the bravest of the brave.
Their extremely dangerous part-time job, for which they are unpaid, is to go out in lifeboats, sometimes in the roughest of seas, to rescue stricken vessels, seamen and swimmers. Since 1824, they have saved 120,000 lives and lost more than 600 of their own men in the process.
So what is the correct response when two of their number are caught by a female superior with pictures of naked girlies on their mugs?
Well obviously they must be sacked.
This is just what has happened to two volunteers at Whitby RNLI, one after 15 years of service.
According to the Sun:
The men, all unpaid volunteers, swapped various “jokey” designs as Secret Santa gifts.
One featured a photo of a nude woman with the head of one crewman superimposed on top.
A female boss visited the station and found the mugs in a cupboard.Sources say the crew were told to destroy them and told the matter would go no further.
But in March the men were told the mugs were a “safeguarding breach” because they might be seen by visiting school pupils.
They faced disciplinary hearings, which also looked into messages in a WhatsApp group.
Quite right too. As anyone who has ever found themselves in a dangerous, largely male environment, the vital key to group unity, camaraderie and effectiveness is for responsible leaders to keep banter, joshing, sexual innuendo and other outmoded practices to an absolute minimum.
Well done, the senior management of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution. No doubt this bravura display of corporate responsibility will endear it hugely to the public next time RNLI volunteers are out in the street rattling collecting tins.