The Albatross caused numerous lifeboat call-outs before it was detained by the MCA

A 21ft yacht that was
impounded after lifeboats were called out to numerous incidents along the south coast is up for sale.

The Albatross arrived on Littlehampton beach at the end of last summer having grounded a number of times on passage off the Sussex coast.

This included three occasions in one week last September, which sparked Royal National Lifeboat Institution call-outs.

The vessel was eventually detained by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) on the grounds of safety, specifically damage to hull and crew competence.

It was subsequently abandoned in the harbour and when The Albatross became in danger of sinking it was moved to a drying mooring and craned out of the water by the harbour authority.
The vessel was impounded by Littlehampton Harbour as ‘an abandoned vessel’ and is now being sold to offset costs incurred by the harbour.

Sealed bids are being accepted until Friday 7 February 2014, anyone interested in viewing the vessel please contact Littlehampton Harbour Office on
01903 721215.

Harbour Master Billy Johnson said: ‘Although it sounds like a case of Captain Calamity, there were actually mental health issues behind the skipper’s behaviour.

‘We’re now looking to cover the £200 we’ve put into impounding the boat. it’s in one piece but has got cracks to the hull and is letting in water.

‘If someone’s willing to take it on for £200, we’ll be glad to call it quits.

‘I’m just glad it didn’t sink in the Channel or cause more harm. If the MCA hadn’t detained the boat there would’ve been a much bigger problem at some stage.’

Training and preparation

Mr Johnson said this case highlighted the importance of training and preparation before going out to sea, both in terms of safety equipment, lifejackets, VHF and flares but also preparations such as checking the weather, having a passage plan and attendance at a relevant training course.

He added: ‘The RYA offer a range of courses each designed to make you a better mariner.
‘It is interesting to note that while there is no legal requirement to complete training prior to going to sea that in this case the MCA detained a private vessel on the grounds of crew competence through sufficient demonstration of a lack of competence.’