A runaway catamaran has led coastguard a pretty chase when it threw its owner overboard and took to the shipping lanes. It had just come from France to the Isle of Wight, and obviously didn't like the thought of British cuisine being served in her saloon..
by Lee Mylchreest
It happened off the Shanklin sealine, at the end of an uneventful voyage.
When it arrived into the shallows and realised where its owner was headed, it took advantage of a large wave to dump its inconsiderate helmsman and make its escape, all sails flying.
The red-faced sailor, who was uninjured, raised the alarm shortly after 9.00am yesterday, and the Solent Coast launched the Independent lifeboat from Sandown and Shanklin to take up the chase.
The catamaran had headed for the shipping lanes, no doubt trying to find its way back to France and a decent beaujolais. It had taken off at speed and was already 3.5 nautical miles off shore before the lifeboat caught it.
Sandown and Shanklin Independent lifeboat Operations Manager Mark Birch said: 'Carefully manoeuvring the lifeboat into place, we put a crew member aboard who managed to drop the sails.
'We then attached a tow line to the vessel and recovered it back to our boat house, to a very happy owner'.
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8:11 PM Sun 30 Jan 2011 GMT
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