Pratical Boat Owner: A 10m yacht that ran aground two miles north of Hook Head, in County Wexford, Ireland is believed to have drifted free from its moorings.


Volunteer lifeboat crew launched yesterday morning following reports of the grounded cruiser. Upon arrival, the lifeboat crew found the unmanned yacht sitting deep in the water, perilously close to the rocks.

First on scene was Fethard RNLI Inshore lifeboat whose crew established a tow with the yacht, however this proved unsuccessful.

Shortly after, Dunmore East RNLI Lifeboat arrived on scene and put two crew on board the casualty vessel with a pump to try and drain the water from the yacht and establish a tow to recover it to a nearby harbour.

However, once on board, the lifeboat crew discovered that the yacht had taken on a large amount of water and that it was in danger of sinking.  When they attempted to establish a tow the vessel dangerously dipped low into the water and the attempt was abandoned.

The Irish Coast Guard Rescue Helicopter Rescue 117 were also called out to the incident.

A decision was taken to leave the vessel as it was determined that the crew were in danger if they stayed on the yacht.

Dunmore East RNLI Lifeboat spokesman Neville Murphy said, ‘The yacht had taken on a huge amount of water and as such it proved too difficult to safely recover her.

Once it was established that there was no threat to life and it was clear it was too dangerous to safely recover the vessel we made the right decision to step away.’
At present the vessel is still aground and an attempt may be made to recover her at low water.

See article at Pratical Boat Owner

Practical Boat Owner: Flammable vapours caused by a spillage of petrol sparked a boat explosion that injured four adults and two children, fire investigators have said.


Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service (RBFS) have issued a warning to boat owners following the incident, which occurred around midday on 2 August at Bray Lock, in Taplow, near Maidenhead.

The boat was privately owned and there were several adults and children on board at the time of the explosion.

A man and a woman aged in their 40s and a 12-year-old girl who were on the boat were taken to St George’s Hospital in London for treatment.

A woman in her 30s and a three-year-old boy who were also on the boat weretaken to the John Radcliffe Hospital for treatment.

Their injuries are not thought to be life-threatening. Another man was treated at the scene for minor injuries.

Thames Valley Police and RBFS firefighters attended the explosionm, which was then investigated by the Marine Accident Investigation Bureau and Environment Agency.

The Boat Safety Scheme,public safety project owned jointly by Canal & River Trust and the Environment Agency, advises boat owners to exercise extreme caution when refuelling.

Petrol, when spilt or exposed to open air, can quickly vaporise into a low-lying, extremely flammable gas-cloud that can flow into the boat’s interior and pool in the lower parts where any spark could ignite it.

Top tips for refuelling boats with petrol:

  1. Use sight, touch and sense of smell to check the fuel system and engine for any petrol leaks or weeping fuel and signs of deterioration, looseness, cracks or any other damage BEFORE starting out and even before the crew boards the boat.
  2. Crucially, do not switch on the electrical supply or turn the ignition key if there’s a strong smell of petrol. Ventilate the cabin and bilges and investigate the source.
  3. To prevent petrol vapour being blown back or flowing down into the boat during refuelling, close all windows, hatches, doors and awnings; also turn off all cooking appliances and other ignition sources before removing any tank or container caps.
  4. Double check before any fuel starts pouring, the correct filling point has been selected. If the worst thing happens and fuel goes down the wrong hole, deal with the situation immediately and get help if you have any issues about handling the problem safely. Warn people around the boat what has happened and what you are doing. Prevent them from igniting the petrol vapour accidentally.
  5. Petrol leaks and spills can readily vaporise and ignite in an instant. Clean up any loose fuel straight away and make sure filler caps are secure after refuelling.
  6. Avoid decanting petrol from containers, but if you have to, use proprietary anti-spill containers, spouts or nozzles to allow, clean and easy, no-spill refuelling.
  7. Avoid refuelling any portable engine or tank aboard the boat; take it to the bank and a safe distance from any boats or other sources of ignition. But always heed any marina or mooring guidance and rules on refuelling and the handling of petrol.
  8. If you have to carry spare fuel use proper cans, specifically designed for petrol, anything else could allow fuel and vapours to escape. To comply with UK law, don’t carry more than 30 litres of petrol and ensure that containers are no more than 10 litres if plastic, or 20 litres if metal.
  9. Don’t overfill petrol containers, leave some expansion space. Stow them securely upright and protected from pressurisation by siting them away from intense heat and out of direct sunlight. But never stow spare petrol in the engine or cabin space.
  10. Never use an open container, such as a bucket, to carry or transfer petrol or mix in 2-stroke oil.

As always, prevention is the best cure, as a routine, have a competent marine fitter carry out a thorough service of the engine, fuel system components and controls using the right marine-grade parts when replacements are needed – it could make the difference between a great day out with the family, or swift race to the hospital and no boating for some time afterwards.

See article at Practical Boat Owner



Categories: Safety

Motorboat & Yachting: A 73-year-old man dies after a leisure boat overturns off Wexford in the south-east of Ireland. The man, from Salisbury in Wiltshire, died when a leisure boat overturned off Wexford in the south-east of Ireland. He was with nine other people on an 18ft fiberglass leisure boat, which capsized in choppy waters on Saturday, August 29.


The alarm was raised shortly after 11pm when the party failed to return from a fishing trip at the expected time and the Kilmore Quay lifeboat with five crew was launched just after 11.30pm. A spokesman for the Kilmore Quay RNLI said that the boat overturned off the Saltee Islands, a few miles from the mainland at Co Wexford.

The Saltee Islands passenger ferry, the An Crossan, also joined in the search along with Fethard RNLI.

The lifeboat from Kilmore Quay was making its way to the area where it was thought the boat was when it received contact from the An Crossan saying that it had spotted an upturned hull. Ten people were in the water half a mile south of the Great Saltee Islands: a woman, eight men, and a teenage boy. The weather conditions were overcast and there was a Force 2-3 south-westerly blowing.

The party was found after passenger ferry’s crew heard shouting from the sea. It is thought the party, all of who were wearing lifejackets, had been in the water for four to five hours.
The boat is understood to have overturned in choppy waters when a breaking wave stove in the wheelhouse windows and swamped the vessel.

The crew of the An Crossan pulled all 10 people from the water. The RNLI spokesman said that the 73-year-old man from Wiltshire required urgent medical attention and was airlifted by helicopter to Waterford University Hospital about 30 miles away, where he died.

The nine other people were transferred to the Kilmore Quay lifeboat and back to shore where they were medically assessed before being transferred to Wexford General Hospital and treated for hypothermia.

No other casualties have been reported. The dead man has not been named.

See article at Motor & Yachting

Pratical Boat Owner: A yacht made a Mayday call after losing power and getting caught in the tide off Carnac Point, Inverness.


Volunteers from RNLI Kessock were mustering ahead of routine training exercise when they overhead the VHF Mayday call and established that they could see the stricken vessel from the lifeboat station.

They launched the Atlantic 85 Class lifeboat with four crew aboard at 10.50am.

The 28ft yacht had been leaving Inverness when it lost all power as it rounded Carnac Point. It started to drift on the fast incoming tide towards the old slipway at South Kessock.

The two crew aboard the yacht dropped their anchor but this failed to hold in the fast flowing tide.

A towline was quickly attached to the disabled vessel before it ran aground or hit the slip way.

It was towed back to Inverness Marina where Inverness Coastguard Team helped the volunteer crew secure the yacht in a berth.

See article at Pratical Boat Owner

Motorboat & Yachting: Three men were arrested last week after sneaking into the country on board a brand new Broom 35 Coupe.


Bushnells Marina was the site of a dramatic escape last week, when three stowaways fled from a brand new Broom 35 that was being delivered.

Two men in their 20s from Pakistan and a man in his 30s from Iran leapt from the coupe when the transporter lorry stopped outside the West Berkshire marina.

The driver immediately called Thames Valley police who successfully tracked down and arrested the suspected illegal immigrants.

It is believed that the men snuck on board the brand new Broom 35 while it was being transported across the channel on a car ferry.

Broom have promised to take the boat back to their Brundle facility to be cleaned up and returned to pristine condition, after drugs and dirt were found on board.

New owner Ian Tritton told the Henley Standard that although he was satisfied with Broom’s reaction to the incident, he was “annoyed” that Border Control had allowed this to happen in the first place.

“Given the situation in Calais, these guys have obviously been spreading around ports in France looking for a way to get across,” Mr Tritton told the local newspaper.

“It’s a very sad situation for them and we feel for them but in this case we are annoyed at the various people involved, like the boat’s transporters and Border Control,” he added. “They need to be much tougher. Our private space has been violated.”

See article at Motorboat & Yachting

Yachting Boating World: A new app has been launched which allows you to see where friends and family are out on the water has been launched by marine technology startup Swell Advantage.


First location based social network for boaters combining the ability to identify family and friends out on the water with navigation tools.

The app, launched last month, is compatible with iOS and can be downloaded from the app store for free.

The Swell Advantage app is designed to help build boating communities by allowing people to see where others are on the water, see when friends get onto their boats, and gives family members peace of mind by allowing them to track their loved ones.

Boaters’ locations are hidden while on land, and users can turn off the ability to be seen by their friends while on the water.

“In talking to our customers and having spent a lot of years out on the water, we have really just tried to design a product that fits our customers needs, fits their lifestyle, and helps them navigate and make decision,” said Swell Advantage co­founder and CEO Iain Archibald.

The Swell Advantage suite of navigation tools aim to re­imagine the navigation interface making it more intuitive and easier for the recreational boater.

Using an innovative Navigation Ring, Swell Advantage strategically places the critical pieces of information needed by an operator, in a manner that is available and readable at a quick glance.

Swell Advantage provides the operator with standard features like boat speed and heading, and also unique features like a real­time radial scale and a visualization of drift affecting the boat.

You can download Swell Advantage for free in the Apple App Store, with an Android version expected later in 2015.

See article at Yachting Boating World

Motorboat & Yachting: The Port of London Authority has launched a new safety campaign, which urges users on River Thames to look out for smaller and vulnerable vessels but also raise awareness of other key issues like wearing lifejacket.


Boatowners cruising up the River Thames should take care when passing smaller and more vulnerable vessels, the Port of London Authority has warned.

The message is part of a new safety campaign, which also urges kayakers, paddleboarders and rowers to wear bright clothing to make themselves more easily visible.

Jon Beckett, recreation harbour master at the Port of London Authority, said: “We also want to make skippers of motor cruisers, sailing boats and commercial vessels, more aware of the vulnerabilities of smaller, more exposed vessels.”

The seven-part campaign will be backed up by a series of posters to raise awareness of key issues. These include the need to keep wash to minimum, the importance of wearing a lifejacket, and being aware of the high traffic density in central London.

The Port of London Authority also urges smaller boats to use the full width of the river and avoid hogging the middle lane, as this is the only navigable channel for deep-draughted vessels.

Local boating organisations can order copies of the posters from the Port of London Authority’s recreational website

This year’s safety campaign follows on from the Lookout campaign, which was developed last year in conjunction with the Thames Regional Rowing Council.

See article at Motorboat & Yachting

Motorboat & Yachting: BCB Marine will be demonstrating its bulletproof lifejacket at this week’s Seawork Maritime Trade Fair.


This year’s Seawork Maritime Trade Fair will include the launch of a new gadget that wouldn’t look out of place in a James Bond movie – namely the bulletproof lifejacket.

Designed by safety and security equipment firm BCB Marine, the self-inflating body armour system will be demonstrated on the first day of the show, which runs from June 16-18.

The bulletproof lifejacket is meant to provide ballistic protection to members of the coastguard or navy while they are patrolling on deck, before inflating upon contact with water.

In its inflated state, the lifejacket provides 275 Newtons of buoyancy, which is enough to support both the weight of the wearer and the bulletproof body armour plating.

What’s more, the lifejacket features a self-righting design to ensure that the wearer’s airways remain above the surface of the water while they are afloat.

Stefanie Kingston, sales manager at BCB Marine, said: “In recent months we have seen a surge in the number of enquiries for our self-inflating body armour system to be worn by navy and coastguard personnel throughout the world.”

The live demonstration of the bulletproof lifejacket will take place tomorrow at Seawork on Pontoon V8 and is sure to attract a large and curious crowd.

Read article at Motorboat & Yachting



Categories: Boat Show, Safety

Yachting Boating World: A teenager has died following a tragic speedboat accident in Brixham on Saturday morning, May 2nd. Police have identified the victim of a speedboat accident as 14-year-old Emily Gardner from Gloucester.


The 14-year-old, who police have named as Emily Gardner, was trapped underneath the small vessel after it capsized with three other people on board.

The coastguard and police were alerted to the incident at around 12pm, with lifeboats, a helicopter and specialist dive teams all attending the scene.

RNLI crews were able to release Emily from the 16ft speedboat before taking her ashore and handing her into the care of waiting paramedics.

She was taken to Torbay Hospital by ambulance in a critical condition but was sadly pronounced dead a short time later.

Her family have since made a tribute to her, saying: “Our beautiful Emily was a caring, loving, gentle daughter and sister. She was full of life and had the world ahead of her. She was our diamond, now shining bright in the sky.

“She will be missed and forever in our hearts.”

A 50-year-old man and two of Emily’s school friends were also on board the boat when it capsized and were taken ashore by jet skis before lifeboat crews arrived. All three were taken to hospital by ambulance with minor injuries and have since been discharged.

The 16ft speedboat, which was believed to be privately owned, has been recovered and taken to police premises for examinatio, along with the jet skis.

A joint investigation is now underway between local police and the Marine Accident Investigation Branch.

Detective Sergeant Andy Turner said: “Our thoughts are with the family and friends who are affected by this tragic incident. I would like to thank the public and the emergency services for their assistance in getting the casualties to hospital swiftly. Enquiries are ongoing and we are keen to speak to any witnesses who have not already come forward.”
See article at Yachting Boating World – Click here

Pratical Boat Owner: The Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) report into the loss of the yacht Cheeki Rafiki and its four crew in the Atlantic Ocean, approximately 720 miles east–south-east of Nova Scotia, Canada on 16 May 2014.


Almost a year after the sailing community was shocked by the sudden and tragic loss of the British sailing yacht Cheeki Rafiki and its four-man crew, the findings of an official investigation have been published.

MAIB synopsis
At about 0400 on 16 May 2014 the UK registered yacht Cheeki Rafiki capsized approximately 720 miles east-south-east of Nova Scotia, Canada while on passage from Antigua to Southampton.

Despite an extensive search that found the upturned hull of the yacht, the four crew remain missing: Skipper Andrew Bridge, aged 21, from Farnham, Surrey and crew Paul Goslin, 56, from West Camel, Somerset; Steve Warren, 52, from Bridgwater, Somerset and 22-year-old James Male from Romsey, Hampshire.

At approximately 0405 on 16 May an alert transmitted by the personal locator beacon of Cheeki Rafiki’s skipper triggered a major search for the yacht involving United States Coast Guard fixed-wing aircraft and surface vessels.

At 1400 on 17 May, the upturned hull of a small boat was located; however, adverse weather conditions prevented a closer inspection and the search was terminated at 0940 on 18 May.

At 1135 on 20 May, following a formal request from the UK government, a second search was started. At 1535 on 23 May, the upturned hull of a yacht was located and identified as being that of Cheeki Rafiki.

On investigation, it was confirmed that the vessel’s liferaft was still on board in its usual stowage position. With no persons having been found, the second search was terminated at 0200 on 24 May. Cheeki Rafiki’s hull was not recovered and is assumed to have sunk.

In the absence of survivors and material evidence, the causes of the accident remain a matter of some speculation. However, it is concluded that Cheeki Rafiki capsized and inverted following a detachment of its keel.

In the absence of any apparent damage to the hull or rudder other than that directly associated with keel detachment, it is unlikely that the vessel had struck a submerged object. Instead, a combined effect of previous groundings and subsequent repairs to its keel and matrix had possibly weakened the vessel’s structure where the keel was attached to the hull.

It is also possible that one or more keel bolts had deteriorated. A consequential loss of strength may have allowed movement of the keel, which would have been exacerbated by increased transverse loading through sailing in worsening sea conditions.


Action taken
The yacht’s operator, Stormforce Coaching Ltd, has made changes to its internal policies and has taken a number of actions aimed at preventing a recurrence. The Maritime and Coastguard Agency has undertaken to work with the Royal Yachting Association to clarify the requirements for the stowage of inflatable liferafts on coded vessels, and the Royal Yachting Association has drafted enhancements to its Sea Survival Handbook relating to the possibility of a keel failure.

A recommendation has been made to the British Marine Federation to co-operate with certifying authorities, manufacturers and repairers with the aim of developing best practice industry-wide guidance on the inspection and repair of yachts where a glass reinforced plastic matrix and hull have been bonded together.

A recommendation has also been made to the Maritime and Coastguard Agency to provide more explicit guidance about circumstances under which commercial certification for small vessels is required, and when it is not.

Further recommendations have been made to sport governing bodies with regard to issuing operational guidance to both the commercial and pleasure sectors of the yachting community aimed at raising awareness of the potential damage caused by any grounding, and the factors to be taken into consideration when planning ocean passages.


See article and more at Pratical Boat Owner – Click here

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