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Dublin: 8 °C Saturday 29 February, 2020
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Man attempts to sail from Dorset to Ireland in an inflatable dinghy...

… gets severely sunburnt and has to be rescued. Was it ever going to end well?

Man rescued from his 6ft rubber dinghy was severely sunburnt.
Man rescued from his 6ft rubber dinghy was severely sunburnt.

A MAN WHO was attempting to make his way to Ireland on a 6 foot beach blow up dinghy has been rescued by a passing dive vessel.

Yesterday, passing boats raised concerns with the coastguard after seeing a man in a dinghy with two paddles approximately 2.7 nautical miles south of Durdle Door, Dorset.

Plastic sheet as a sail

The coastguard state that he was using one paddle “as a mast accompanied by a plastic sheet as a sail, and the other used as a rudder to steer”. They also said that he had a limited amount of food and drink aboard.

A dive vessel, transiting the area at the time, approached the dinghy to assess the situation. Portland Coastguard was informed that the occupant of the dinghy did not require any assistance, but after finishing their diving operations, the dive vessel returned to the scene and was able to recover the man from the sea.

At 8.30pm, the coastguard rescue team, police and ambulance were awaiting his arrival on shore and it’s reported he had to be treated for a high degree of sunburn. It later transpired that the man had began his journey at 9am that morning.

John Braisher, Watch Officer at Portland Coastguard said:

This man was extremely lucky to be found when he was. With no suitable communications equipment, limited life saving equipment and inadequate food and drink resources for his passage to Ireland, the outcome could have been very different.

If you’re planning to head out to sea, the key is to be well prepared. Inflatable dinghies, such as this, are unsuitable and not recommended for coastal passages of this nature.

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