Please select your home edition
Edition
Bakewell-White Yacht Design

RYA stomps on unsafe yacht operators

by Mark Clark/Sail-World Cruising on 8 Feb 2011
Happier times - Quay Three in the BVI sailing festival 2009 .. .
In an action that will send a message not only to the UK yachting scene, but to yacht operators throughout the sailing world, two commercial yacht operators have been found guilty of using unsafe yachts on trans-Atlantic voyages when carrying students signed up for Royal Yachting Association (RYA) training courses.


At Southampton Crown Court on Friday 4th February 2011, two commercial yacht operators pleaded guilty to using unsafe commercial yachts on trans-Atlantic voyages when carrying students signed up for RYA training courses.

Two separate operators, George Haworth of In2Sail Ltd and Colin Thomas of Straits Sailing had taken advantage of the growth in demand for trans-Atlantic sail training. Both used the internet to sell training courses for those wanting to go from novice to Yachtmaster Ocean.

They ran inclusive costly courses but did not have vessels equipped to the minimum levels of lifesaving equipment.

It was shown that George Haworth had sent students on a voyage from Cowes to St Lucia with a skipper that was not properly qualified on a yacht that had only the basic equipment to operate no more than 60 miles from a safe haven. The yacht ‘Quay Three’ had only one valais liferaft stowed in a locker and the only means of distress alerting was by a VHF radio (of limited range) and an EPIRB (Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon). The vessel had no qualified mate. Events on the voyage included a collision with a whale and defective steering. The parents of one of the students were horrified at the lack of safety.

They had financed the cost of their daughter, Annie Aitchison by renting out their home and living on a small yacht throughout a hard winter.

Colin Thomas of Straits Sailing was endeavouring to try and get his yacht, Summer Breeze of Haslar up to the required coding category to legally do trans-Atlantic crossings from Gibraltar to the Caribbean but could not get the vessel through the required stability test. He had already taken bookings from students and sailed without a qualified mate and with only one liferaft. Mr. Thomas, an experienced Yachtmaster did not have the required qualifications to take an uncoded yacht across the Atlantic.

As soon as the RYA learned of these matters, they suspended their recognition of In2Sail and Straits Sailing

Both men pleaded guilty. George Haworth of In2Sail was fined a total of £16,000 including costs and Colin Thomas was fined a total of £17,549. Both were given a default prison sentence of 6 months if the fines were not paid within 6 months.

Simon Milne, Head of Vessel Policy in the RYA said, 'The codes of practice for small commercial vessels lay down minimum safety standards. Some sailing schools and charters go above minimum standards. In both these cases the operators fell very well short of even the expected standards.'

Barz Optics - Kids rangeSchaefer 2016 Ratchet Block 660x82Southern Spars - 100

Related Articles

Free $US3,000 Carbon Vang with SouthernFurl boom orders in July
Southern Spars is giving a free carbon vang - valued at US$3,000 - with SouthernFurl in-boom furlers ordered in July Southern Spars is giving away a free carbon vang - valued at US$3,000 - with all of their SouthernFurl in-boom furlers ordered in July. Carbon gas vangs make a great addition to the furling boom package, though if you’d prefer to keep your existing one, Southern Spars will offer you a 5% discount on the price of your boom instead.
Posted on 29 Jun
Newport Bermuda Race - High Noon takes honours
As the Newport Bermuda Race fleet rushed to the finish line on Monday in the wake of the first-to-finish boat, As the Newport Bermuda Race fleet rushed to the finish line on Monday in the wake of the first-to-finish boat, the powerful 100-foot grand prix Comanche, to the surprise of many they were led by an unusual boat and crew. High Noon, at 41 feet, is fully 59 feet shorter than Comanche and tens of feet shorter than many other entries.
Posted on 22 Jun
Platino recovery - Family confirms that tug has made rendezvous
Reports in social media say a salvage tug has made a rendezvous with the Platino earlier than expected. Reports in social media by family and friends of Nick Saull, the crew member killed during a catastrophic incident abroad the 66ft yacht Platino say the salvage tug which left on Tuesday night has made the rendezvous earlier than expected. The Facebook report says the tug, Sea Pelican, arrived on Friday morning, the weather in the area has eased and with a more favorable outlook.
Posted on 16 Jun
Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron to ban bottled water
Approval has been given to create a ban on bottled water that comes in plastic containers. The RQYS Management Committee has confirmed that approval has been given to create a ban on bottled water that comes in plastic containers. This will place the club as a leader in environmental impact management in Australia and around the world. The Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club earlier this year did likewise. Who’s next?
Posted on 16 Jun
SouthernFurl In-Boom furling systems withstand Sydney Hobart test
Southern Spars design team have developed the SouthernFurl Boom smaller budgets and yachts from 35-70 feet. Have you ever scared your family when you got stuck with too much sail up when you should be reefed? Southern Spars’ range of SouthernFurl booms are the answer – letting you reduce sail quickly and easily without leaving the safety of the cockpit.
Posted on 23 May
2016 Garda Trentino Olympic Week - Day 4
Garda Trentino Olympic Week 2016 draws near to the conclusion: the weather once again proves difficult. Garda Trentino Olympic Week 2016 draws near to the conclusion: the weather once again proves difficult. Tomorrow the medal race is scheduled for the Lasers and another two races for the three paralympic classes.
Posted on 13 May
CCA presents RCC Award to Scott and Mary Flanders
CCA has announced that Scott and Mary Flanders are the recipients of the organization’s 2015 Royal Cruising Club Trophy. The Cruising Club of America (CCA) has announced that Scott and Mary Flanders are the recipients of the organization’s 2015 Royal Cruising Club Trophy.
Posted on 22 Apr
Cyclone Winston Relief Fund – Help the people of Fiji
Sea Mercy is sending volunteer fleet of small and large vessels, loaded with shelter, food and medical supplies to Fiji. Sea Mercy is once again sending our volunteer fleet of small and large vessels, loaded with shelter, food, water and medical supplies and teams to Fiji.
Posted on 27 Feb
Golden Globe Race - 30 sailors from 12 countries named for challenge
Sailors from America, Britain and France head the preliminary entry list for the 2018 Golden Globe solo round the world Sailors from America, Britain and France head the preliminary entry list for the 2018 Golden Globe solo round the world race. The 29 men and one woman – have each paid an initial A$3,000 entry fee. Other entrants hail from Austria, Australia, Brazil, Estonia, India, Ireland, Italy, New Zealand, Norway, Palestine, Russia and Switzerland.
Posted on 18 Feb
Passage making and the responsibility to others—World Cruising news
Editorial Editorial
Posted on 29 Jan