Duffers of the week: Thames maiden voyage goes awry

Some seamanship knowledge sorely required - Thames River photo by RNLI
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Whoops! doesn't look good. Rocks on one side and a rather large ship on the other. What about a few sailing lessons? Or even some good advice on seamanship? Three would-be sailors had to be rescued last week on their maiden voyage in the Thames by an RNLI lifeboat, whose crew could have been occupied with better things, like having a cup of coffee back at headquarters.

The three were rescued by the Gravesend lifeboat crew after becoming trapped on the Thames.

The rescue mission was sparked by the yacht calling that they were getting stuck under the stem of an 8,500-ton oil tanker, near Dagenham, last week.

Gravesend RNLI dispatched a lifeboat at 9.34pm and attached a towline to the yacht and pulled it out of danger, towing it back to Woolwich.

The men were on their maiden voyage from Gallions Point Marina in North Woolwich, heading downstream when they lost their outboard motor.

The vessel, sails still furled, was swept down by a fast running tide under the, becoming pinned against the ship, with danger of being capsized.

Lifeboat Helmsman, David Parry said: 'These men were very lucky, they were in a very precarious position when the lifeboat arrived on the scene and in considerable danger.'
http://www.sail-world.com/111592