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New Captain Calamity - Two yachts seized by Coastguard

by Sail-World Cruising Round-up on 1 Oct 2013
Captain Calamity’s rescues SW
Britain has discovered yet another 'Captain Calamity' - a sailor so incompetent that he has had to be rescued nine times in the last month. Now the Coastguard has seized his yacht and told him to 'stay on shore'.

According to the Daily Mail, Tim Freeman's 21ft yacht was impounded after five incidents off West Sussex in early September, but undeterred he just got a new one, which he has now lost control of on four more occasions.


The 24-year-old rivals Britain's worst sailor Glenn Crawley, who was nicknamed Captain Calamity after being rescued by the RNLI 15 times in a decade off Cornwall.

Mr Freeman's troubles started in the first week of September, when he repeatedly ran aground or got lost off the south coast at places like Seaford, East Sussex and Littlehampton.

On one occasion he had to swim to safety when his yacht developed a hole in the hull and was in danger of sinking. It was later seized by The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA).

Undeterred by this setback, he then acquired a new 24ft boat, going on to have to be rescued once a day for four days when his second yacht was also impounded.

With callouts costing the rescue crews around £2,500 per time, he has already cost Britain at least £20,000.

Billy Johnson, the Littlehampton Harbour Master, told the Daily Mail: 'He caused problems along the coast by grounding his yacht or running it up the beach'

'On the last occasion the yacht was towed into Littlehampton it was impounded by the MCA and lifted out because it was holed and was going to sink.

'The also grounded it on the grounds of crew competency. To get his boat released from detention he had to fix the damage and obtain some training.

'The idea of him getting out in the English Channel doesn't bear thinking about.'

Among his many difficulties were getting a rope caught around his propeller, sailing too close to dangerous rocks causing passersby to call the coastguard, sailing down the wrong channel and ending up grounded, getting lost as he had no charts, dialling 999 for help then getting towed home.

A spokesman for the Maritime and Coastguard Agency said: 'Portland coastguard have coordinated four incidents involving the same vessel off the Devon and Dorset coast since last Thursday.

'We recommend that people undertake training for leisure boat activities, as they will be far less likely to be involved in a maritime accident.'

It seems as though Mr Freeman might have to take this advice before getting either of his boats returned to him.

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