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GOSPEL TRUTH: Snatched from the Sea

A Dramatic Rescue Near Guernsey…..


The night of Monday 23rd January 1984 must have remained indelibly impressed upon the minds of nine men. With perhaps just 15 minutes to live, the nine seamen (four Filipinos and five Indians) were plucked to safety from mountainous seas near the Channel Islands by the Guernsey lifeboat.



The full story is a sad one. The 2,997 ton Liberian-registered grain carrier, the Radiant Med, was on passage from Belgium to the Congo with a cargo of maize and wheat on board. Heavy seas were encountered in theEnglish Channel, a hatch cover was ripped off, and water began to enter one of the holds. Help was requested from other ships, and a Mayday call was sent out. When the steering failed and the ship began to list, the crew knew that their vessel was doomed. As no immediate rescue was at hand, they were forced to jump into the sea in an attempt to reach their ship’s lifeboat. Only ten of the twenty five men managed to clamber aboard – and one of these later died from exposure. When the Guernsey lifeboat arrived on the scene, it was only with great difficulty that the nine survivors were brought to safety.


Tragic as the loss of sixteen lives was, nine men survived because a valiant lifeboat crew risked their lives to save them. Speaking later of their ordeal and dramatic rescue, one of the men said, “We owe our lives to your lifeboat. We are very grateful – they have given us a new life. This is a second life for us.”



Three things stand out in this incident as once again a lifeboat crew demonstrated their bravery:

1  The men were in danger and faced the certain peril of drowning. Although we may not realize it, we are in danger too. For us, it is the peril of dying in our sins and having to face God’s judgment. (1) What a terrible thing, to face going to Hell.

2  The men believed that someone somewhere could rescue them, so they called for help. Only Jesus can save you from future judgment. He died on the cross for your sins and was punished by God in your place so that you could go to Heaven. Will you believe this? He longs to hear your call today, “Lord, save me!” (2)

3  The rescued men started what they called “a second life”. They said, “We owe our lives to your lifeboat.” Those who have experienced God’s forgiveness and salvation through the Lord Jesus owe everything to Him. He gives a brand new life – and indeed tells us that if we want to live in Heaven for ever we must be “born again”. (3)



Have you recognized the danger you may be in – the danger of being eternally lost? Have you understood the significance of the death of Christ? Just where you are ask the Lord Jesus Christ to be your Saviour and invite Him to enter your life. If you do, that “new life” will be yours. The Bible makes this promise: “Whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Acts 2:21).    

END NOTES:- (1)Hebrews 9:27; John 8:24.  (2)Hebrews 9:28; Matthew 14:30.  (3)2 Corinthians 5:17; John 3:7.