• West Cork Literary Festival 8-15 July 2022


Location: EU


1st Responder/Rescue Swimmer/Paramedic/ER Nurse Cert. Air Rescue/Life Flight Cert. Trainer-Water Rescue-Police. Freediver- Swim teacher for handicap & other traumatized souls. Love my Job*

Current project

Work in progress.

The Lifeguard

Inspired by real events:

(Calm Water Storms Deep Sea Demons and Rescues of Love).

When ghost of the past wash up dead on the beach.

It’s a calling to rescue the souls in the present day.

The Lifeguard Captain, his former clandestine life as a Special Op’s Commando and his counter intelligence nemesis resurrect to life from clues washed up on the beach.

This time around it’s a about a mystery billionaire cartel leader, the human slave trade used to extract the most valuable rare earth minerals sold on global markets. They’re both victims of a changing world that’s affected by climate change. One may lose his fortune, the other may lose his rescue team. Both will die if they don’t change with the times and let go of the past.

Revenge is not in the rescue training manual and it’s not a profitable venture for private bankers and a criminal cartel leader.

Everyone can’t be rescued, some fortunes can’t be recovered, money can’t buy everything, but a professional Lifeguard Rescue Team will save their Captain to live another day.

And being rescued is a second chance to make it right……….

To My Fellow Rescuers & First Responders:

We all know there is no single hero in this service.

A life saved from a single action or reaction begins from those who trained us and hard sobering experience.

It takes a network of teams we work with, ambulances, hospitals, air rescue, law enforcement, and the army of volunteers we call in as needed.

Our existence is due to government budgets and planning allocated for us to serve. The same government bureaucracy we love to complain about, limited budgets, restrictions, laws, rules, regulations, liabilities and yet we co-exist because of them.

We are a professional public service, not for everyone, yet a service for everyone. A mission of duty and honor that’s instilled in our souls.

Passion, skill, care, measured and weighed in raw life successes large and small. We dwell in afterthought, sometimes torment, of what could we have done better or, did we make the right decision?

Sometimes we live with the weight that we can’t save them all.

In those rescue moments, we exist in a zone, a dimension of millimeters and milliseconds where space and time are stretched.

Every breath is so precious.

Recovery operations are peaceful and final.

Long shifts, days blur into nights, nights blur into days.

It’s our recovery as rescuers and first responders that is the most difficult, we keep to ourselves.

We all need to be rescued at some point.

My prayers are with you all……..

-Dedicated to the Lifeguard’s wife-

The master at rescuing her man’s soul.

To find passion, love and life as to what you’re really good at, is always inspired.

And I have been.

Thank you my Angel;

I always believed it was true. There were times it took time to really see you.

You taught me so much.

You stood by me in those days when I was blind.

Helped me stand up again and point me in the right direction.

I learned how to play again.

It’s only you that sees and knows, I’m only a simple boy trapped in a man’s body.

And every day in love with you.

I have been blessed in more ways than I could ever imagine.

Writing sample



Just say it out loud, or mouth the word in silence. “Salt” you can taste it. It provokes a sensation of some kind, invokes a memory, a flashback with every human in every culture around the world.

The smell of salt in the air.

The sensation of salt on your skin.

The sting of salt on an open wound.

One of natures ever-presence simple compounds in one form or another; Sodium (Na) and Chlorine (Cl). The Mediterranean has one of the highest salt contents for a large body of water in the world.

Historically, wars have been fought over Salt. It’s been used as currency, gifts, peace offerings, plunder, bounty and a preservative for just about everything humans can eat. Too little, or too much salt will kill you. Yet an essential building block for all life as we know it, we can’t live without.

And this is a story about other valuable minerals we cant live with out in modern life.

Yet the saline ambience is an essential part of the work and lifestyle of paradise in the Mediterranean. And in the life of professional Sea Rescue Squads, salt is embedded in everything. Its a constant, always being rinsed, washed, salt saturated, salt encrusted, salt eroded, salt rusted, salt faded, affecting all equipment, kit, clothing, etc.

At the Lifeguard station that saturated saline smell is on and in everything.

It’s also a part of the ambiance of a professional Rescue Team in Mediterranean paradise.


Dirk Jennings, or “DJ” the nickname that stuck with him for life. Captain of the Lifeguards and Chief of the water rescue services for just over 10 years. Thanks to his best mate from the SAS, the Malta Police Chief Constable, a born and bred Maltese-Brit, that convinced DJ’s wife, this is the job for him.

Thinking back it saved his soul from the rat race he was locked into

The past is the past.

A former Lifeguard on the South Coast of England, Royal Marine, a decorated SAS officer with 8 years of service, wounded three times in action, third-time wheelchair-bound for almost a year.

Rehabilitation, the endless bureaucracy fighting for government benefits, back to university and working a bland boring bank internship to arise as a top International London wealth management- Private Banker with the who’s who of clients in rare earth minerals from emerging markets, and a power network of political leaders, military brass, Klan chiefs and opaque mineral brokers in so called developing countries only to be thwarted by the fall out of the financial crises, new bank regulations, private clients with exposed dark backgrounds that used to be papered over by bank compliance officers and rated as VIP customers.

It all capsized. Name brand banks that denied everything blaming their market traders and private bankers for tainted accounts, stock trades and deals the banks approved.

Government bailouts, downsizing, mergers – acquisitions. The aftermath of regulator inquires, lawsuits, criminal investigations, legal fees, license suspensions, their only child that died from some strange staph infection contracted in hospital, another miscarriage and then the depression, alcohol and drugs.

Those dark days are over now.

Malta is now fully compliant with EU international banking laws. There might be a few old school money managers that DJ recognizes from the old days that are slow to change. But they’re on the extinction list like the dinosaurs. It’s a new world now.

Malta, the beautiful Mediterranean archipelago that has preserved thousands of years of history, architecture, art, traditions, legends and folklore. Tourist hot spot and laid back international business center.

There are three things DJ loves every day; the wife that saved his soul, his best mate Police Chief Ryan that saved his life and his job.

DJ’s best mate Chief Constable Ryan, saved his life several times in combat on clandestine missions in some of the worst and cursed places on earth.

The two have to team up again for a Maltese rescue of a different sort. Chief Ryan and a few handpicked trusted Police officers and Lifeguards will learn from DJ and Ryan to operate stealth, undercover and will be forced to work out of the box, at times bending the law and risking their lives as they all band together to confront an evil, not of their world trying to establish its self on their shores of the beautiful Mediterranean Archipelago.

Facing a demon of the past and exposing their connection to a now criminal cartel boss will test and twist the souls of the people they love both in their personal and professional lives. Love, honor and loyalty to the team takes work and sacrifice.

Or are the two best mates paying for their sins they should of manned up, taken care of, even eliminated years ago while they had the chance.

Is risking it all to make it right actually right? At what cost to the ones you love and how far does loyalty to God and country really go?

And what does repentance actually mean? How far does forgiveness go?

In this story, Love and Loyalty is stronger than one might think and comes in many shades and colors from people and places you least expect. Lessons learned or lessons learned again, just in different forms and ways yet back to the basics.


DJ’s pedigree is a fourth-generation Seaman, a lineage of Navy, Coast Guard and Merchant Navy.

Most middle-aged men will boast about what they did, where they have been, whom they know and revel about the good ol’ days gone bye. For DJ it’s all about the comeback story, not the past. And now it’s about quality of life, love, staying fit and doing what he loves to do. Back to the basics, back to his roots.

“A man of the sea I was meant to be and the sea will always be in me”.

The motto of his forefathers, the motto when he was a young Lifeguard in South England and the motto now.


DJ’s world that he loves is about to cross paths with his past by mere chance in the early dawn morning when two bodies wash up on the rugged Maltese Coastline. No signs of visible trauma, DJ and Chief Ryan immediately notice the victims are professionally trained up fit, outfitted in military-grade open water commando swim kit lite gear, with all the high tech gadgets, GPS, night vision, waterproof encrypted radios, cash, pirated sim cards, portable fold-out drone, satellite phones, a change of expensive designer casual clothes sealed in plastic with the Royal Yacht Club emblem.

Later DJ’s Lifeguards find a neoprene bag washed up on a beach containing a small hand full of silvery metallic cubes that turn out to be extremely valuable, untraceable that can be deposited in any bank, traded or loaned against.

During the dawn recovery as the police officers scan the coastline for clues in the dawn light, as bodies are being loaded in the ambulance, instinct directs DJ to turn his binoculars away from the water to the plush villas on the hillside overlooking the cliffs and pristine clear water where just for a second he sees a long nautical telescope looking back at him and the recovery operations and then a shadowy figure folds it up and disappears behind the shadows of the well-manicured garden hedges.

It becomes clear the two victims were dropped off from a passing cargo ship at night.

On closer inspection of the bodies, DJ and Chief Ryan notice a faded tattoo on the inside arm of one of the victims. Later, post autopsy, the tattoo is digitally enhanced; it appears to be the insignia from India- Special Forces. An insignia long forgotten by the two best friends. A past connection to their clandestine Military operations. A link to one of their former key counterintelligence assets that would be better off forgotten.

Questions and clues start unfolding a dark picture…

Why and how did the professional swimmers drown?

Who’s watching them?

Could it be a connection to one of their past brutal counterintelligence sources that was involved in war crimes and profited from the conflict in some of the most godforsaken parts of the world?

Is there a connection to their former Commanding officer that he never disclosed or maybe tried to communicate before his recent death?

Or could it be a clue to one of DJ’s notorious former private banking clients?

Is it all connected?

Why the Island nation of Malta?

The Resurrection of Deep-Sea Ghost, as the two best mates call it.

Take a journey with the Lifeguard Captain as he leads a professional rescue squad, the best of the best, rescue swimmers, paramedics, air-rescue and boat qualified men and woman, the Jr Lifeguards and seasonal volunteers who back them up and live through a diary of real rescues everyone can learn from; keeping the kids safe on holiday to protecting yourself and learning what to look for, safety tips for your holiday and those around you right down to the secrets of the pro’s for sun protection and first aid.


The story is both hilarious and tragic or as the Lifeguards say, “we rescue them all; the good, the bad, the intoxicated ugly and the stupid”.

And that’s not all DJ’s crew say and do. Even though some of DJ’s professional rescue team and are at times unruly and colorful souls with a reputation that proceeds them from police complaints, social media scandals, headline news to rewards from private wealthy donors for their bravery and personal rescues, to heated Parliamentary debates on the limits and scope of their jurisdiction and powers and budget and condemnation by the all mighty church leaders for their off-duty antics, personal lifestyle, to LGBTQ status.

Small Island politics can be brutal, unless you have an ace in the hole and some stealth high level political connections that come from the same pedigree of honor, loyalty and service that protect their own.

DJ will tell you with grin and gleam in his eye; “I have some high risk souls working for me, but then again, we’re in the high risk life saving business, its all good”.

Dealing with real life events from climate change, to human smuggling, migrants, the best tourist hot spots, the coolest water crafts to luxury yachts, pristine natural beauty and thousands years of Mediterranean history from the eyes of a professional in charge of the safety of millions of tourist a year.

The politics, the bureaucracy, Interpol know it all’s, and over funded foreign intelligence agencies who fail to realize there are two pros, in the know, with a connection to their suspect that will throw them all off course with a plan to expel of everyone off the Islands and erase their nemesis from the past and present.


Or does it really end?

It’s been a long season; mind-boggling twist and turns, a lot of great rescues, some losses, betrayals by those whom they thought were friends, day to day action, death, love, overcoming insurmountable odds of survival, old and new friendships are solidified and new love found for the team.

The Lifeguard crew and a few police meet up; a group therapy session is sitting around an evening beach fire with food and drink. Grill’n & Chill’n as the Lifeguards say.

Reflecting on the season’s events, an emotional download bond fire session of sorts ……… One question remains unanswered… And there may never be an answer, even though there may be clues. At end of the season, the team is overwhelmed with exhaustion, fatigue and the desire just to get back to normal, or maybe no one really wants to know, enough is enough.

The story concludes around the beach fire. But does it end?

Or is it, maybe, no one wants to resurrect another ghost?

Excerpts & Stripped Chapters


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