A small yacht without lights, VHF radio, GPS or flares was rescued by Scarborough RNLI after suffering engine failure in the middle of the night.
Lifeboat press officer Dave Barry said: ‘The skipper of the aptly named Don’t Panic was fortunate that his phone battery wasn’t dead and that he could get a signal.
‘Otherwise the offshore wind could have blown him into the shipping lane, where he would have been in grave danger.’
The skipper of Don’t Panic called the coastguard via 999, estimating that he was a quarter of a mile offshore when he got into difficulties; the boat’s engine had a mechanical failure.
The lifeboat launched at 1.02am yesterday, 28 June, and quickly located the yacht by radar, a mile and a half east of the harbour, homing in with the help of the light on the skipper’s phone.
The lifeboat, with a crew of six, towed the yacht into the harbour.
John Senior, lifeboat operations manager, said: ‘It is imperative that any leisure craft putting out to sea should have a fully functional VHF marine radio and flares as a bare minimum.
‘There is no legal requirement for leisure craft but we would strongly advise that such vessels always have a means of sending out a distress call other than a mobile phone, which should be used only as a back-up.
‘We also recommend that if you are going at night or dusk, you have lights and have informed someone ashore of your intentions.’
- If you see anyone injured or in distress on the coast, dial 999 and ask for the coastguard.
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