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Frustrated rescuers plea for sailor responsibility

by Julia Gosling/Sail-World Cruising on 8 Aug 2012
Swansea Coastguard appeal for responsibility .. .
Rescuers have again been reduced to making public pleas for safety responsibility from sailors. The final straw was an incident this week when a 34ft sailing boat became grounded with three children and seven adults on board. They were without enough life jackets and 'didn't know what to do'. Here's the report:

Crew from a grounded sailing yacht were taken ashore by lifeboats this afternoon in Cardiff Bay in the south of Wales, UK. At 4.20pm Swansea Coastguard, under threat of closure, received a report that a grounded yacht with ten people on board was in difficulty on the Wrach Channel in Cardiff Bay.

The 34 foot sailing yacht had gone aground on its passage through the Wrach Channel to the Locks. There were three children on board and seven adults. Penarth RNLI inshore lifeboats were able to take four of the passengers ashore before the vessel was later refloated.

Swansea Coastguard Watch Manager David Jones said, 'There was concern for the safety of those on board the grounded yacht and there were not enough life jackets. It is vital that when going afloat you carry enough life jackets for everyone on board and make sure that your crew know what to do in an emergency.'

'Carrying a VHF radio on your vessel is vital and VHF DSC (Digital Selective Calling) is strongly recommended. Ensure your radio equipment is fully working and you know what to do in an emergency. With DSC you can send a distress alert along with your exact position, with one touch of the button.

'The distress alert is repeated every four minutes until it is acknowledged either by a Coastguard Station (Ship to Shore) or by a vessel (Ship to Ship) within radio range.

'Maritime Mobile Service Identity ( MMSI) numbers are programmed into a DSC radio set and an MMSI is issued as part of your radio licence application, via Ofcom. It consists of a series of nine digits, which are used to uniquely identify the radio on your vessel.

'Stay safe - whether you're in Britain or anywhere else in the world. Before heading out on the water get trained, check weather and tides, wear a lifejacket, avoid alcohol and keep in touch.'

Britain's Maritime Coastguard Agency (MCA) is a partner in the Sea Vision UK campaign to raise awareness and understanding of the sea and maritime activities. Sea Vision promotes the importance and economic value of the sector and works to highlight the exciting range of activities and career opportunities available to young people within the UK growing maritime sector. www.seavisionuk.org
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