Sunday 25 September 2016

Men rescued from €12 home-made boat

By Ben Kendall

Published 07/04/2015 | 12:02

Undated handout photo issued by Clacton RNLI of a boat made by two men for less than £10 after they were rescued by lifeguards when the oars broke and they drifted 200 metres (656 ft) off Jaywick, Essex, yesterday. Photo: Clacton RNLI/PA Wire
Undated handout photo issued by Clacton RNLI of a boat made by two men for less than £10 after they were rescued by lifeguards when the oars broke and they drifted 200 metres (656 ft) off Jaywick, Essex, yesterday. Photo: Clacton RNLI/PA Wire

Two men experienced a Bank Holiday DIY disaster with a difference - after taking to sea in a home-made boat costing just over a tenner.

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The duo constructed the Heath Robinson-style rowing boat out of scrap plywood, insulation boards and wire coat-hangers.

But the stunt went wrong after their oars broke and they were forced to call lifeguards as they drifted 200 metres (656 ft) off Jaywick, Essex, yesterday.

The men, both in their 20s, told rescuers they had spent just £9 on silicone adhesive to hold the boat together.

Joff Strutt, of the Clacton RNLI, said: "A lot of people may have been working on their homes over Easter - but this was a rather hasty DIY project which nearly landed them in trouble.

"They had been out fishing the previous day and decided to give it another go on Monday.

"At the end of the day's fishing, they found themselves too far out at sea. Their oars weren't strong enough and they weren't wearing lifejackets.

"Fortunately nobody was hurt and they've learned a lesson."

The pair called Thames Coastguard on a mobile phone at about 2.20pm as they were trying to make it back to Jaywick's Martello Beach Holiday Park.

Families were out enjoying the pleasant Bank Holiday weather at the time.

"You can't stop people making their own boats but they need to make sure they know what they're doing and, if you're going to sea, make sure you're wearing a lifejacket," Mr Strutt said.

The boat was later destroyed with the men's permission.

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