Rescued sailor was travelling to America but had only a Southampton streetmap to guide him

An RNLI lifeboat crew stepped in to save the 30-year-old Bulgarian who was in a 14ft dinghy

An RNLI lifeboat crew stepped in to save the 30-year-old Bulgarian who was in a 14ft dinghy

First published in News
Last updated
Daily Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Health Reporter

A SAILOR was rescued while trying to sail to America in a dinghy with only a map of Southampton to guide him.

The 30-year-old Bulgarian national was found off the coast of Dorset in a 14ft boat he purchased for £300.

He was spotted looking seasick in choppy seas by a passing yachtsman, who called the coastguard.

But when an RNLI lifeboat crew arrived the man, who had a US visa on board, refused their help for 45 minutes and had to be dragged off the dinghy.

He was not wearing a lifejacket, his boat did not have any lights and the only navigational aid in his possession was a street map of Southampton.

Pete Dadds, 41, a lifeboat crewman who attended the incident, said the man would have died if he had not been rescued.

''When we reached the gentleman he didn't want us there, he wanted to carry on his way,'' the commercial fisherman said.

''We were not happy leaving him out there. He kept saying 'I am going west'.

''His boat was not properly rigged so he was just getting battered, he was at the mercy of the elements.

''We said 'if we leave you you will die'. He didn't have a life-jacket, just a buoyancy aid and the vessel didn't have any lights.

''All he had on was a bag of personal belongings which were a few odds and ends, a bag of biscuits, beans and hot dogs and a bag with his passport in.

''He was obviously suffering from the first signs of hypothermia. He was only wearing a pack-a-mac jacket and leggings.

''He was absolutely sodden.''

The man boarded the RNLI lifeboat, where he was violently sea sick and ''very, very cold'', Mr Dadds added.

''I ended up cuddling him at the back of the boat to keep him warm,'' he said.

''He would have died, he was severely sea sick, he had the first signs of hypothermia and his boat was filling up with water.

''There's no chance it would have kept going for much longer.''

Mr Dadds said the sailor was ''incredibly lucky'' the yacht had been passing him and had contacted the coastguard.

The RNLI crew arrived back at Mudeford at around 6.30pm and the man was immediately taken to hospital by the waiting ambulance.

His boat was then towed back to shore by the crew.

Comments (13)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

3:13pm Sun 17 Aug 14

Richard 51 says...

Well done guys, but I wonder how much that cost for his stupidity
Well done guys, but I wonder how much that cost for his stupidity Richard 51
  • Score: 8

4:18pm Sun 17 Aug 14

westhantsboy says...

Idiot. Should have to pay the RNLI call out costs.
Idiot. Should have to pay the RNLI call out costs. westhantsboy
  • Score: 9

5:57pm Sun 17 Aug 14

Tallship says...

What was this idiot thinking or should that be not thinking. How far would he have got if the RNLI had not dragged him onto the lifeboat. I hope the RNLI send him a bill for the cost of the rescue. Why was he not arrested for endangering the life of the RNLI crew?
What was this idiot thinking or should that be not thinking. How far would he have got if the RNLI had not dragged him onto the lifeboat. I hope the RNLI send him a bill for the cost of the rescue. Why was he not arrested for endangering the life of the RNLI crew? Tallship
  • Score: 2

6:53pm Sun 17 Aug 14

SotonGreen says...

Irrationality as any first aider can attest to is one of the first symptoms of hypothermia I wouldn't judge myself just be glad all are well
Irrationality as any first aider can attest to is one of the first symptoms of hypothermia I wouldn't judge myself just be glad all are well SotonGreen
  • Score: 15

7:02pm Sun 17 Aug 14

Mary80 says...

Yeah using a street map to find America...
Yeah using a street map to find America... Mary80
  • Score: 2

7:23pm Sun 17 Aug 14

sparkster says...

Im sorry but any rational person would go to see with the necessary equipment, ie lifejackets, flares etc. I know job of the RNLI is to rescue people which I understand and people do get taken ill when at sea but when it's sheer stupidity thats another matter. How on earth would a dinghy cope with rough seas. Having said this Im glad the chap is ok and it all ended well
Im sorry but any rational person would go to see with the necessary equipment, ie lifejackets, flares etc. I know job of the RNLI is to rescue people which I understand and people do get taken ill when at sea but when it's sheer stupidity thats another matter. How on earth would a dinghy cope with rough seas. Having said this Im glad the chap is ok and it all ended well sparkster
  • Score: 4

10:14pm Sun 17 Aug 14

Mary80 says...

SotonGreen wrote:
Irrationality as any first aider can attest to is one of the first symptoms of hypothermia I wouldn't judge myself just be glad all are well
Uh he was using the map before he got hypothermia
[quote][p][bold]SotonGreen[/bold] wrote: Irrationality as any first aider can attest to is one of the first symptoms of hypothermia I wouldn't judge myself just be glad all are well[/p][/quote]Uh he was using the map before he got hypothermia Mary80
  • Score: -4

6:40am Mon 18 Aug 14

SOLENTDRIFTER says...

Good grief - He could of finished up in LIVERPOOL - I would not wish that on anyone.....
Good grief - He could of finished up in LIVERPOOL - I would not wish that on anyone..... SOLENTDRIFTER
  • Score: 11

8:34am Mon 18 Aug 14

sophisticated says...

Desperation.
Desperation. sophisticated
  • Score: 6

9:41am Mon 18 Aug 14

Frank28 says...

The man must have some mental health issues, and is probably a danger to himself.
The man must have some mental health issues, and is probably a danger to himself. Frank28
  • Score: 5

10:23am Mon 18 Aug 14

jen1 says...

Should have let him get on with it and suffer the consequences.
Should have let him get on with it and suffer the consequences. jen1
  • Score: -8

12:48pm Mon 18 Aug 14

espanuel says...

He would have made it with Southy on-board.
He would have made it with Southy on-board. espanuel
  • Score: 2

3:10pm Mon 18 Aug 14

southy says...

espanuel wrote:
He would have made it with Southy on-board.
Well just look at some of the achievements from the WW2 or even what Shackleton done, and officers of the Bounty.
Some crazy things have been achieved in the pass, what is there to say if this guy would of made it or not, (personally I doubt if he would of made it, but still).
Hypothermia was probley cause though being sea sick you can lose a lot of body heat when you vomit even in the tropics
[quote][p][bold]espanuel[/bold] wrote: He would have made it with Southy on-board.[/p][/quote]Well just look at some of the achievements from the WW2 or even what Shackleton done, and officers of the Bounty. Some crazy things have been achieved in the pass, what is there to say if this guy would of made it or not, (personally I doubt if he would of made it, but still). Hypothermia was probley cause though being sea sick you can lose a lot of body heat when you vomit even in the tropics southy
  • Score: 0

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree