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The tragic events that led to the blinding of PJ (or Duncan) at Byker Grove 15 years ago taught us that that Geordies aren’t always the best at following safety guidelines.
And it’s perhaps these sad memories of PJ’s (or Duncan’s) horrific paintball injuries that have led police and emergency services to question the wisdom of this year’s Tyne Inflatable Boat Race in Newcastle – which is basically an excuse for hundreds of drunk north-easterners to float down a river on ridiculous-shaped lilos. Thousands of people have already expressed an interest.
“This is a very ill-thought through idea,” said Peter Lilley, from the Tynemouth Volunteer Life Brigade. “For a start it would take some rowing to get three-and-a-half-miles down the Tyne, it’s not a calm river and it’s always busy. We have a zero tolerance approach to alcohol and water.”
But despite the serious risk of drownings and the threat of being hit by working boats, it sounds like a laugh – and that’s surely more important.