Yachting Boating World: Irishman Fanche Mahe stole the yacht from Saundersfoot in Pembrokeshire and attempted to sail for France because he was “sick of life”, a Welsh court heard.
He only managed to sail the vessel four-and-a-half miles southeast of Saundersfoot harbour before he was intercepted by the police on board the Tenby RNLI Tamar class lifeboat.
The owner of the Summer Lily had seen his yacht’s distinctive red sail heading into the distance when he had arrived at the harbour on the morning of 26 June for a day’s sailing.
He had immediately contacted the police who had requested the assistance of the RNLI.
The 17 foot yacht was towed back to the harbour. It had sustained around £50 worth of damage.
Haverfordwest Magistrates Court heard that Mahe, of County Galway, had initially refused to cooperate with the police officers.
In interview, he told officers his motorbike has broken down and he’d decided to take a boat and go sailing.
Mahe added that he was “sick of life” and wanted to “p**s off and go sailing”.
In Mahe’s defence, the court heard that the 30-year-old had come to Wales to look for work. He had been unsuccessful and after running out of money decided to go sailing.
Magistrates fined Mahe £293 and ordered him to pay court costs of £115 plus £50 compensation to the owner of Summer Lily.