Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/01/23/whale_fines/
Wally rescue team faces £300 parking fines
The terrible price of compassion
BUNGLING, heartless traffic wardens slapped £300 worth of FINES onto marine RESCUERS while they battled for DAYS to rescue tragic whale WALLY from the icy THAMES, we can almost exclusively reveal.
Sorry - we should explain. That's how UK tabloid The Sun will doubtless report the news that BUNGLING, heartless traffic wardens slapped £300 worth of FINES onto marine RESCUERS while they battled for DAYS to rescue tragic WALLY from the icy THAMES.
Yup, it's true. In their rush to save the bottle-nosed whale over the weekend, members of the British Divers Marine Rescue Group simply parked their cars on meters next to Vauxhall Bridge, the Beeb reports. They didn't get back til Sunday night, by which time the predatory attack wardens had moved in for the kill.
The group's chairman, Alan Knight, lamented: "It upsets me a bit that we are facing over £300 worth of bills. I guess they have got a job to do. However, all of our cars have 'marine ambulance' on the side or 'marine medics'... and I would have hoped they would have given us the benefit of the doubt."
No chance. The rescuers now face a £5k bill for their failed operation, although The Sun has started a £10k online campaign to save the whale's bones for scientific research. Reports that any surplus will be invested in a memorial fountain for Wallys everywhere is unconfirmed.
Well, we're sure readers will join us in offering our sympathies to the rescue team in its hour of financial need. Indeed, we at Vulture Central would like to help out by offering a fundraising suggestion: sell the whale meat to the Japanese Embassy* and then flog the bones to The Sun. The inhabitants of the former are not as sentimental about whales as we Brits, and the latter is absolutely loaded. Go to it. ®
*If that fails, try the Norwegians. Neither nation gave up much news time to Wally's plight, as the Sunday Times notes.