How you can help cut the cost of machinery failure at sea

The crippling cost of rescues at sea caused by engine failure has prompted a survey by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) which is asking Yachting Monthly readers to help compile a database on the causes of engine or machinery breakdown.

Machinery breakdowns on yachts exert huge pressure on UK rescue services,’ say authorities. Of 8,000 incidents recorded in the MCA’s 2004 UK Search and Rescue records, 1,783 were a direct result of machinery failure in leisure craft. Such breakdowns are reported to be the main cause of some 4,000 annual lifeboat launches by the RNLI, costing the charity estimated £23.4 million a year.

Now the MCA has been tasked to find out how, why and when machinery failures are taking place on everything from commercial ships to leisure craft – from supertankers to jet skis.

Nic Lonsdale, Watch Officer for MRCC Portland told YM that HM Coastguard has devised a special questionnaire for leisure sailors. All data recorded will be anonymous and no personal details are required or will be kept on any database. Questions include details of engine failure or electrical breakdown; spares and tools carried aboard; the skill levels of skipper or crew and engine maintenance records.

To complete the survey and help the MCA with their research, click here