Man sails round Isle of Sheppey - thinking it was the UK
A A dopey sailor who thought he
was cruising round the UK turned out to be circling the Isle
of Sheppey - and didn’t realise until he ran out of fuel.
A lifeboat was called to rescue the intrepid helmsman after his
engine wound down off the Elmley Marshes.
It had taken him a day and a half to get there from
Gillingham - a matter of a few miles away.
In addition to his tour of the 8-mile-wide island, the man, who
has not been named, had also made a series of other unfortunate
Firstly, he bought the motor cruiser online, and it only
had a 20-litre fuel tank and a 20 horse power engine - not designed
for sea use.
He also had taken the "wrong" turn on the road map he was
And he had no provisions onboard.
The man was making his way to Southampton alone - with
no navigation equipment.
Finally, he thought that because he could drive in his car to
Southampton using a single tank of fuel, he only needed one tank of
fuel for the vessel and he had a VHF radio, but did not know how to
Do you know who the sailor is? E-mail us at
to let us know.
Lifeboat volunteer Tom Ware said: "Because he had no chart and
he didn’t even know what navigational charts were, his general
principle was to keep the land on his right, except he didn’t
realise Sheppey was an Island.
"It took him a day and a half to get from Gillingham to where he
ran out of fuel."
Coastguards, who met the man at Queenborough, advised him that
engine sizes and therefore fuel consumption differs and the coast
route was longer than the road distance in any case.
Coastguard Ian Goodwin said: "We passed on relevant safety
advice and advised him that the best way to Southampton would be by
"However, he said he would get some fuel and get underway but
asked us if he went left or right when he came out of the
It is unknown whether the man made it back to Southampton.
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