VIDEO: He survived captivity in Beirut - but health and safety stops John McCarthy's tank ride (From Bournemouth Echo)
When news happens text pix and video to 80360. Start your message with BE then leave a space.
VIDEO: He survived captivity in Beirut - but health and safety stops John McCarthy's tank ride
HE may have survived more than five years in captivity, but even former Beirut hostage John McCarthy failed to triumph over the dreaded health and safety regulations.
Mr McCarthy had been due to arrive as guest of honour at the grand opening of The Purbeck School, yesterday, riding atop a British Army tank.
But at the last minute he was forced to swap the Scimitar Light Tank for a Ford Mondeo, as it was deemed too dangerous for him to ride onboard.
However, the change of plan failed to spoil the Wareham school’s historic ceremony, arranged to mark its official opening as a full secondary school.
This expansion, which has seen facilities including a new sixth form centre being built at the Worgret Road campus, has been integral to the recent Purbeck education shake-up, which saw the district shift from a three to a two-tier system.
Mr McCarthy said: “It’s a great honour to have been invited in this special day for The Purbeck School. I had the chance this morning to meet a great number of the staff and the students “To have a military escort, how good does it get? I’m overwhelmed, it’s magical, I don’t live here but I think I might move.”
Speaking to gathered dignitaries, head teacher Leannne Symonds said: “What we really wanted was someone who embodied the values of our school.
“John embodies the word resilience because he was held hostage for a total of 1,943 days.
“In that time John spent lots of time reflecting and building relationships with those others he was held captive with, and he’s been kind enough today to share his thoughts on humanity, about mutual respect and about the way we should all treat each other.”
The tank was provided by Bovington Camp.
Deputy head Andy Speake, confirmed: “He came in the car due to modern health and safety regulations which meant he was not allowed to be on the tank.”
Comments are closed on this article.