'It's an honour to help people' says George Parsonage, the river rescuer who has retired after saving thousands of people who've fallen into the River Clyde.
The 75-year-old has stepped down from his position in charge of the Glasgow Humane Society, which organises rescues on the River Clyde in Scotland.
‘I don’t know any other form of life. I was born right here and I’ve been helping for nearly 70 years on the river,’ said a modest Mr Parsonage of his impressive feat.
In his time in charge of the Glasgow Humane Society motorboat, he has saved more than 1,500 people, earned an MBE for his efforts — and even went on to marry one woman he rescued from the water.
And while the veteran is standing down from his position manning the boat, he is determined to continue advising those using the river, even if he is now remaining on dry land.
‘I’m upbeat in the fact that I’ll be 76 in a couple of weeks time and still able to give advice,’ he told the Evening Times. ‘There’s a lot of people at my age unable to be in that position so I’m a lucky man.
‘All that matters is the society has to be here, even if it’s just advising.’
Mr Parsonage’s father, Ben, took over the society in 1918, and George followed in his position after his death in 1979. He said his family have been an integral part of the society, including his wife Stephanie and sons, Benjamin and Christopher.
The society was founded in 1790 with the aim of rescuing people and the recovery of bodies from the Clyde, as well as improving safety.
‘My father was always very proud that he rescued two or three times more than he took out dead and I think that is a wonderful thing to be able to say. He was my hero,’ said Mr Parsonage.
‘[He] would say “the River Clyde was a very good friend, but could be a very bad enemy”. You have to respect it, watch it and be so careful.
‘It can be cruel, but I have had great times on it.’
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