Six teenage boys have been rescued after a night-time jaunt in a stolen 14ft dinghy wearing just T-shirts
Six teenage boys have been rescued after losing their stolen dinghy’s rudder sailing off the Lleyn Peninsula, North Wales. The 14ft Wayfarer, which belonged to South Caernarvonshire Yacht Club, had been stolen from the beach at Abersoch. The group put to sea in the early hours of this morning, wearing just T-shirts and with no safety equipment.
Concerned parents raised the alarm with Holyhead Coastguard after two of the boys called for help from a mobile phone just after 0500. The coastguard immediately sent the Pwllheli inshore lifeboat to the scene, swiftly followed by the all-weather lifeboat as the parents confessed they did not know how long the boys had been at sea. The partially swamped dinghy was located drifting about two miles offshore near Abersoch, reportedly having been at sea since about 0300. None of the crew had lifejackets or safety gear, and were shivering in just T-shirts when found by the lifeboatmen. Barry Priddis, Holyhead Coastguard Watch Manager commented:
“It beggars belief that these youngsters had put to sea with not a single lifejacket, flare or any other piece of lifesaving equipment between them. Their only equipment was a mobile phone and a sail. This was an exceptionally stupid thing to do and we can only reiterate that hypothemia is a very real killer. If this very small boat had gone down there would have been no way for them to alert anyone to their plight and we ould have had a major tragedy.”
Mr. Priddis went on to reinforce the importance of proper training and equipment when going to sea. The teenagers have been taken to Pwllheli hospital for further treatment.