Scarborough RNLI had to tow the yacht, aptly named Don't Panic, to safety after its engine failed. The RNLI has now issued a warning to boat owners.

The yacht, Don’t Panic, was a quarter of a mile from Scarborough Harbour when its engine suffered mechanical failure.

It had no lights, no VHF radio, no GPS and no flares on board.

Instead, the skipper had to call 999 on his mobile phone, and he was connected to the coastguard.

The volunteer crew of the Scarborough Lifeboat was tasked just after 1am on 28 June.

Using radar, the yacht was located a mile-and-a-half east of the harbour.

The skipper used the light on his mobile phone to further help the crew to locate him.

Don't Panic towed back to Scarborough Harbour

Don’t Panic had no VHF , no flares, no lights and no GPS on board. Credit: Dave Barry/Scarborough RNLI


The lifeboat then towed the yacht back to harbour.

A spokesman for the RNLI said: “The skipper of the aptly named Don’t Panic was fortunate that his phone battery wasn’t dead and that he could get a signal. Otherwise, the offshore wind could have blown him into the shipping lane, where he would have been in grave danger.”

Dont Panic safely back in harbour after being rescued by Scarborough RNLI

Don’t Panic safely back in Scarborough Harbour. Credit: Dave Barry/Scarborough RNLI


Scarborough lifeboat operations manager, John Senior has now issued this warning to boaters.
“It is imperative that any leisure craft putting out to sea should have a fully functional VHF marine radio and flares as a bare minimum,” he said.

“There is no legal requirement for leisure craft, but we would strongly advise that such vessels always have a means of sending out a distress call other than a mobile phone, which should be used only as a back-up” stressed Senior.

“We also recommend that if you are going at night or dusk, you have lights and have informed someone ashore of your intentions,” he concluded.

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