TWO novice sailors who purchased a yacht on eBay were left stranded after getting it trapped on rocks during its maiden voyage.
Sid Hashim and his son attempted to sail the vessel just 700 metres, from a marina to a neighbouring harbour, when it ran aground on a rocky outcrop during a particularly high tide.
The pair, who had "little or no knowledge" of the area, had gone to Guernsey to collect the £3,000 (€3,600) yacht after bidding for it on the online auction site.
They decided to try and move the vessel at night but smashed it into a reef just outside the St Peter Port after midnight.
They made an emergency call to the coastguard but a lifeboat sent to rescue them was unable to get near the rocks.
The pale blue yacht Ardel remained teetering on the rocks on Monday as Mr Hashim and his son pleaded with the harbour master to try and rescue it.
But they have been told that they must wait until an equally large tide pushes it off or until the waves smash her to pieces.
Captain Peter Gill, the Guernsey harbour master, said the seamen were attempting to manoeuvre the vessel from the Queen Elizabeth II marina around the quay and into the harbour.
"They were doing it in the middle of the night,” he said. They were about 400 metres into the journey.
“They had been on the top of the tide and it deposited them on the rocks. In the end a harbour dinghy took them off because the lifeboat couldn't reach them.
"Subsequent tides have not been as big so the yacht hasn't floated off yet.”
Mr Gill said the vessel would be “lucky to survive” for much longer due to a gloomy weather forecast.
"A similar thing happened last year with a French yacht, but before that it was several years before we had another incident,” he added.
A harbour spokesman said: “I think they have another boat at home. They bought this off eBay and had come to collect it.
"There had been a problem with it and they had got it repaired and were testing it by travelling between the marinas."
Mr Hashim, an engineer from Egypt who now works for an avionics company in Penge, south London, called in to work sick on Monday a colleague claimed.
“I’m worried for him now as everyone will know what’s happened,” she said.
Richard Poat, 52, a plumbing inspector who lives near the harbour entrance, said he awoke on Sunday to see the stranded yacht about 100 metres from the harbour.
"They were probably on the high tide at about 1am or 2am because that would have been the best time to move,” he said.
"They were between the Queen Elizabeth II marina and the harbour 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.
The sight of the vessel is drawing crowds to the Goubeau Reef off the Channel Island.