BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific North Midlands/East West/South-West London/South North Midlands/East West/South-West London/South
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: UK: England  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
England
N Ireland
Scotland
Wales
Politics
Education
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
EDITIONS
Friday, 2 August, 2002, 15:51 GMT 16:51 UK
Stranded sailor 100 yards from land
Redcar lifeboat
The rescue was the first for Redcar's new lifeboat
A round-Britain sailor was stranded in fog off the Teesside coast for four days - unaware he was just 100 yards from shore.

Alan McKeand, 65, had rigorously planned his sailing trip of a lifetime, but as he set sail in perfectly calm conditions from Hull he was unaware of "pea-soup" weather off Teesside.

When he hit the fog he cautiously dropped anchor, hoping the weather would change and blow it away.

Four days later he was rescued by Redcar's lifeboat as 7ft waves threatened his 22ft yacht, Martha III.

Dave Cammish
Dave Cammish: "We don't fault him at all."

Redcar coastguard was contacted by worried walkers on the coast who saw Mr McKeand's yacht battened down against the elements.

A careful watch was kept over the boat as the weather worsened and the new 87,000 lifeboat, the Atlantic 75-type Leicester Challenge II, was launched to make contact with the hapless sailor.

Mr McKeand said: "I was unaware that the coastguard was worried until they travelled out to see me.

"I was always taught not to call the emergency services unless you are really in trouble, which I wasn't.

Good weather

"I was never worried. I had plenty of good books on board and a radio."

The married father-of-two bought the boat from a yachtsman in Ipswich before moving it to Hull Marina.

He added: "I had decided that if the weather was good I would go up around the top of Scotland and visit the Orkney Islands before carrying on down to Lancashire or Cumbria.

"As it was, I only got as far as Saltburn-on-Sea when the fog came in."

The retired textile technologist first took up sailing whilst working in Kenya in 1975 and dreamed of owning his own boat.

'Grand chap'

He told the lifeboat crew he normally sails with his wife, but she did not feel able to make the mammoth round-Britain trip.

She discovered her husband's plight after Mr Mackeend was towed into Hartlepool Marina on Thursday night.

David Cammish, deputy launching authority for Redcar lifeboat, said: "The weather let him down pretty badly. We don't fault him at all.

"He's a grand chap, a responsible guy who made all his plans complete in every respect for what he was going to do.

"The weather when he set off from Hull was fantastic."

Mr McKeend is said to be "very, very relieved" to be rescued and is very tired.

'Rude awakening'

The only casualty of the unexpected four-day berth offshore was Mr McKeend's plans to carry on with the round Britain trip.

Mr Cammish said: "He's called the expedition off and is planning on going home as soon as he can. He was going to take stock and when the weather cleared he was going home.

"It must have come as a bit of a rude awakening - it goes to show that the best laid plans can come unstuck through no fault of your own."


Click here to go to BBC Tees
See also:

14 Jul 02 | N Ireland
27 Jun 02 | N Ireland
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more England stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more England stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes