Yachtsmen urged to be safe after spate of call-outs

YACHT owners have been warned to take the necessary precautions before setting out to sea following a spate of recent call-outs for Arbroath’s lifeboat, RNLB Inchcape.

The lifeboat has been launched on three occasions in the last two weeks to deal with vessels that have found themselves in trouble.

Alex Smith, Arbroath lifeboat operations manager, said people should have the correct equipment before going out to sea and have regular maintenance carried out on their boats throughout the year.

He continued: “Before people set out they should make sure they have the relevant means of communication.

“At the very least they should have a mobile ‘phone if they come into difficulty.”

The latest incident occurred last Sunday when the inshore and all-weather lifeboats come to the aid of a yacht, ‘Crannog’, that was drifting towards rocks after its rudder had broken off and the vessel lost its power steering.

The ‘Crannog’ was towed back to the harbour within 10 minutes of the call and nobody was hurt.

Mr Smith continued: “People need to have the knowledge of what to do and what not to do.

“Many folk think it’s an embarrassment to call out the lifeboat.”

Fred Caygill, from the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, said people going out to sea should have the correct training and equipment.

He went on: “We would always recommend anybody taking a vessel out on to the water for leisure activities to obtain some sort of training for that activity and make sure they have a good means of communication and appropriate life-saving apparatus.”

Visiting vessels from all over the country come to the town’s marina with the development proving to be very popular since it opened it in 2004. It has over 50 boat owners on the waiting list for pontoon berths.