Qualification withdrawn for 12 weeks

Liquid Vortex skipper Charlie Sturrock has had his Yachtmaster qualification withdrawn by the RYA and the MCA, following the sailing school yacht’s rescue on January 3.

The Hot Liquid Bénéteau First 40.7 was rescued off Dungeness Point while on delivery to London from Southampton with the Met Office warning of an imminent Force 11 severe storm.

The RYA/MCA Yachtmaster Qualification Panel decided to withdraw Mr Sturrock’s qualification for 12 weeks, when he will have to retake the Yachtmaster exam in order to regain the certificate.

The RYA’s head of training, Richard Falk, told PBO: ‘We came to that conclusion based on a discussion with Charlie and based on the evidence that is available.

‘We had concerns with the decision to depart given the weather forecast, specifically passage planning, the interpretation of the weather forecast and the decision-making that goes along with that.’

Mr Sturrock will be unable to use his Yachtmaster Instructor qualification for the same 12-week period, but it will be reinstated if he passes the Yachtmaster exam again.

Mr Falk said: ‘There is no suggestion that he lacks the ability to instruct. What we are looking at is a specific reflection of his competence as a skipper.’

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