Last weekend on the flooding 10m tide one of our members unfortunately capsized their Hobie Dragoon Catamaran too close to the Viaduct and didn’t have time to right the boat before the strong current dragged it under the Viaduct.
Our Safety boat attempted to tow the Up-turned Cat away from the danger but with the sails and one hull caught by the flood it was an impossible task.
The sailor was retrieved from the stricken vessel before it was cast lose to fend for itself as it was sucked under the viaduct.
The flow of the water banked up in-front of the viaduct supports helped to push the Cat into the open water between two of the supports.
If the hull, mast or sails had caught against the support the vessel could easily have been ripped apart.
With the tide being so high and on its side the Catamaran standing about 2m proud of the water, the skyward hull bounced and scraped along the underside of the viaduct as the flood pushed it under but again she didn’t foul against the structure and popped out the other side with just a few scratches to show for her ordeal.
Some time later sailor and boat were re-united and the coastguard who had been altered to the incident help to lower the mast so the Cat could be paddled back under the Viaduct on the ebbing tide.
The sailor of the Hobie Cat James Smith, commented that he was enjoying the first days of summer sailing so much he forgot the dangers being too close to the viaduct on a flooding tide, “Another lesson re-learnt!”