The ability of people to be humorous when faced with enormous dangers is one of the most endearing characteristics of mankind.
For the past fourteen days, two miners have been trapped deep within the Beaconsfield Gold Mine in Tasmania following a rock fall on the 25th April, which killed one of their colleagues. Messers Russell and Webb, both in their thirties, have survived through the protection of a small steel cage.
Once rescuers had managed to bore a pipe through to their location, the men were asked what they would most appreciate being provided with. As quick as a flash, the reply came back from one: ‘a copy of the day’s newspaper so I can apply for a new job.’
Later on, one was heard to remark that he intended to claim a “living away from home allowance” for the time spent trapped underground.
Finally freed today, they were asked by reporters as to what was the first thing they were going to do. The reply: ‘put in an overtime claim.’
Who couldn’t but rejoice on hearing that they had been freed, after having shown such great fortitude and courage? They deserve every penny of the estimated £800,000 their story is going to bring them from newspaper, book and film rights.