A yacht club has issued a stark warning to lake users after two men were rescued from Ullswater.
Ullswater Yacht Club’s Sailing Manager Edmund Clarke and club member Graham Priestley provided support and assistance to two men who got into difficulties on Ullswater when their dinghy capsized on Saturday, March 12.
The men, who were not club members, had launched their dinghy from the public slipway at Howtown.
Edmund, who was at the club site about a mile from Howtown on Saturday afternoon, said: “Having received a phone call from Cumbria police on behalf of HM Coastguard requesting our assistance, Graham Priestley and I launched a safety boat to head out onto the lake and provide support.
“The two sailors had got into difficulties having capsized a number of times and had managed to get to safety on the upturned hull. They had attempted to right their vessel for approximately an hour, their daggerboard had dropped through the boat.
“On arrival, we were able to quickly establish that both sailors were uninjured but were wet and cold. We were also able to right the boat and secure the boat under tow. The two men were brought back to the UYC site where they were able to get checked over by paramedics while warming up and making the most of our hot showers.
“While in this instance no one was injured and all turned out well in the end, this incident is a reminder of the obligation on all sailors to correctly prepare for their sailing activities, taking into account all relevant factors.”
He went on to emphasise that there are inherent risks to sailing on any body of water. “You assume these risks when you launch, and therefore it is important that you take necessary steps to keep yourself (and others) safe when you sail.”
And he issued this advice: “This season, make sure you set sail with the right safety equipment and in conditions that are suitable for your individual ability. When leisure sailing, consider taking a VHF radio with you to allow you to make contact with the shore if you get into difficulty.”
He added: “I would like to say a massive thank you to all our amazing members who helped out. It was also great to see a quick response from all our emergency services including HM Coastguard, police, fire, ambulance and mountain rescue who were all involved in the rescue.”
Chris Giles writes for numerous online publications, having studied at The University College of North Wales, Bangor. He is a regular visitor to The Lake District and enjoys camping, hiking and watersports.