Rescue authorities criticise yacht owner who 'chased his yacht'

Would you attempt to save this yacht by chasing it in a dinghy?
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How far would you risk your safety to save your yacht? A desperate boat-owner has attracted criticism by rescue authorities for chasing his drifting yacht in a dinghy during a 'horrendous' 40 knot gale. The yacht had broken free of its moorings at the yacht club where it was berthed and was gradually drifting towards the shore where it would undoubtedly have been destroyed.

The 37-feet yacht broke free from its moorings at Scotland's Royal Gourock Yacht Club around 8.45pm during storms on Monday. Clyde Coastguard at Greenock received calls from members of the public reporting that it had ended up close to a nearby pier.

A spokesman said: 'Coastguards were then informed by Royal Gourock Yacht Club that the owner of the drifting yacht, ignoring strenuous objections from other members of the club, had put on a lifejacket, got into a dinghy with an outboard engine and had gone off in an attempt to save his yacht, in winds which were averaging 41 knots at the time.

View past the Royal Gourock Yacht Club where the incident occurred
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'Clyde Coastguard then requested the launch of Helensburgh inshore lifeboat, fearing for the safety of the gentleman in the dinghy which was being blown across the River Clyde and out of sight of the coastguard team on scene.'

Kilcreggan Coastguard rescue team then reported that two members of the public had also taken a dinghy and had gone out to the yacht which had almost grounded on the shore. They also reported that the owner had arrived alongside the yacht and boarded it.

Helensburgh Lifeboat crew boarded the vessel and assisted the owner in securing the yacht as well as 'giving him some safety and weather advice.'

Later a Coastguard spokesman added: 'We urge people to put their personal safety and that of other people attempting to assist them first when considering taking action to recover vessels which have broken free and are drifting.

'The owner of this yacht is extremely lucky to have made it safely across the Clyde to his yacht in the horrendous weather conditions which have resulted in Clyde Coastguard dealing with 38 incidents today alone.'