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'People are putting their lives at risk' - lifeboat crews highlight dangers of taking second hand boats out to sea

PUBLISHED: 16:14 13 June 2019 | UPDATED: 16:14 13 June 2019

Lifeboat crews are warning people of the dangers of taking second hand boats out to sea before having them checked out. Pictured, lifeboat crews towing a 31ft cruiser which had broken down towards Great Yarmouth. Picture: RNLI

Lifeboat crews are warning people of the dangers of taking second hand boats out to sea before having them checked out. Pictured, lifeboat crews towing a 31ft cruiser which had broken down towards Great Yarmouth. Picture: RNLI

Archant

People who are taking second hand boats out to sea for the first time before having them serviced are putting their lives at risk, lifeboat crews have warned.

Coxswain of Caister Lifeboat Paul Williams.  Picture: James BassCoxswain of Caister Lifeboat Paul Williams. Picture: James Bass

Coxswain of Caister lifeboat Paul Williams, said he has been involved in an increasing number of rescues because second hand boats have broken down at sea due to mechanical faults.

On Monday, crews from Caister lifeboat rescued a 31ft motor cruiser which had broken down off Sea Palling having suffered an engine failure.

Mr Williams said the boat had been bought second hand through a website.

"Unfortunately we are seeing more and more boats breaking down out at sea and many of them have been bought second hand," Mr Williams said.

"It should be common sense that people should not take a boat out before it has had the proper checks.

"We even see some without life jackets on board.

"People need to take more care."

A variety of second hand cruisers and power boats can be bought from websites including eBay and Gumtree.

Before taking a boat to sea for the first time the Maritime and Coastguard agency recommends people consult with a number of different marine surveying accreditation bodies who can recommend if safety checks are needed.

These include the Society of Consulting Marine Engineers and Ship Surveyors (SCMS) and the Yacht Brokers, Designers and Surveyors Association (YBDSA).

A spokesman for Great Yarmouth and Gorleston lifeboat highlighted the dangers of taking second hand boats out to see before the proper checks have been carried out.

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The spokesman said: "Going out to see without the correct safety provisions is really dangerous.

"People are putting their lives at risk by doing that.

"They are also endangering others.

"It is so important people get their boats checked thoroughly before taking them out to sea for the first time."

The spokesman said lifeboat crews were expecting to see an increase in the number of boats setting sail once the weather improves.

Concerns were also raised over inexperienced drivers being unable to read signs on the broads and people using insufficient navigation systems.

For more safety advice visit the Maritime and Coastguard agency's website or contact them on 0203 817 20000.

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