Two men and the boat that they had just purchased have been towed into Sunderland Marina after they became lost just hours after taking delivery of it.

The men were taking the converted lifeboat from the River Wear to the River Tyne, a journey of six miles. However, they thought that they had just left the River Tees. They became disorientated, and at 5.45 pm they called 999 and asked for assistance. Humber Coastguard took their call and talked them through operating the radio that was onboard. The whereabouts of the vessel was approximately located using the signal from their mobile phone. Sunderland Coastguard Rescue Team then pinpointed their location, using information on landmarks that the two men were able to give, parachute flares sent up by the coastguard and the blue lights on the coastguard vehicle. A tow was attached and the vessel has now been taken into Sunderland Marina by the Sunderland RNLI lifeboat.

Mike Puplett, Humber Coastguard Watch Manager said:

This incident shows how important it is to have some basic knowledge and training before setting out to skipper a boat. Preparation such as logging a passage plan with us and knowing how to operate the radio might have prevented this incident from happening. We sent the Hartlepool inshore and all weather RNLI lifeboats, the Sunderland lifeboat and the Sunderland and Hartlepool Coastguard Rescue Teams to search for this boat because of this lack of basic knowledge.

Source Joanne Groenenberg, MCGA

Date Added - 08-Nov-2010

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