South East Wales

Boat training call as 'foolish' trip ends in grounding

New owners of a boat ignored warnings they were too inexperienced and went aground an hour after taking it out for the first time, coastguards have said.

Swansea Coastguard said they were "very foolish" and urged new boat owners to undertake training before taking a vessel out to sea.

Cardiff barrage staff and the skipper of another boat had warned the crew it would not be sensible to go out.

The boat grounded twice, and had to be towed back to harbour on Sunday.

Swansea Coastguard said the new owner had taken three friends out in the boat from Penarth marina on Sunday evening, and none had any maritime experience.

Staff at Cardiff barrage noticed the boat leaving just after 1800 BST and called the coastguard to express their concern for the crew's safety.

The skipper of another boat also noticed the boat and told the crew it would not be sensible to attempt to take the boat to Swansea as they planned.

When they told the skipper they were still going, he also contacted the coastguard, who called up the boat and tried to persuade them it would be unsafe to continue, Swansea Coastguard added.

The crew insisted on continuing, and five minutes later grounded the vessel.

'No lifejackets on'

The boat was refloated, but then beached again.

Penarth inshore and all-weather lifeboats went to their rescue and towed the boat back to the marina.

Swansea Coastguard watch manager Steve Jones said: "It is very foolish to attempt a journey such as this with no maritime experience or knowledge.

"The seller of the vessel had told its new owner that it would be easy for him to take the boat from Cardiff to Swansea and that he just had to come out of the harbour, turn right and follow the coast.

"The crew onboard had no lifejackets on, they did not know how to operate a vhf DSC radio (and therefore could not call for help) and had no clue about navigation or the preparation needed before setting out on a voyage.

"We have now managed to persuade the crew that they will need to find a more experienced crew member to take them up the coast."

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