Novice Cruisers Smash Boat into Reef 400 Yards into Short Voyage

Just more proof that sailing requires much more than a boat.

Two “untrained” sailors who bought their yacht on eBay smashed their boat onto rocks after getting lost just 400 yards into what was believed to be one of their first voyages. The hapless pair went out in their $4,800 24-foot vessel but were soon left teetering on a reef near the entrance to St. Peter Port harbor in Guernsey, England. These unnamed sailors had “little or no knowledge” of the area or sailing and were attempting to move the yacht from one marina to another – only 765 yards away – when they ran it aground in the dark. Unaware of the rocks until their pale blue boat Ardel crashed into them, they were forced into a Mayday emergency call to the coastguard and a lifeboat was sent to rescue them.

But it could not get near the rocks so the local harbor master organized for the bungling seamen to be rescued by a dinghy at 2 a.m. on Saturday.

The stranded yacht is now drawing crowds to Goubeau Reef off the Channel Island.

Subsequent tides have not been as big as the one that deposited the boat on the rocks and the yacht will remain there until a larger tide comes, or waves smash her to pieces.

Richard Poat, 52, a plumbing inspector who lives near the harbor entrance, said he awoke yesterday morning to see the stranded yacht.

He said, “I woke up and saw the boat on the rocks that is only about 110 yards from the harbor. I heard that the people on board were two Sikh gentlemen who had clearly not been aware of the reef. They were probably on the high tide at about 1 a.m. or 2 a.m. because that would have been the best time to move. They were between the Queen Elizabeth II marina and the harbor entrance and there is the reef between them. I went out on my boat to have a closer look and I’d be surprised if it survived when it comes off. There are quite a few people going out to have a look.”

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