Last week a man, we won’t call him a yachtsman, alone aboard his 12-metre yacht, called the Swansea Coastguard in Wales when his yacht lost all power and he was unable to start his engine. The Coastguard sent a lifeboat from Mumbles to rescue him.
Less than 24 hours later the same man called the Swansea Coastguard again after suffering the same problem. The Coastguard sent a lifeboat from Barry to tow the yacht to safety. Crew on board the lifeboat found that the yacht had no navigation lights and the man’s mobile phone and handheld GPS had low battery strength. No mention was made of a VHF radio.
The Swansea Coastguard watch manager, Dave Jones said: “When we give out safety advice to people going out for a trip in a yacht we recommend that people take adequate communications and navigational devices, flares, and check their engines.
“Unfortunately, this man followed none of this advice and set out not once, but twice, knowing that he did not have sufficient power to reach his destination.”
He added: “We hope that the yachtsman will consider full equipping and preparing his vessel before he continues his journey in order that we do not have to send [lifeboats] out to his rescue for a third time.”
This man’s lack of preparation and the absence of yacht safety equipment strike me as even worse than the Sheppey boating fiasco.