World of Sport

Wannabe sailors buy yacht on Ebay, crash it immediately

World of Sport

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The Hashim's yacht aground in St Peter Port, Guernsey

A pair of wannabe sailors have won unwitting fame after they bought a yacht on Ebay - only to crash it within minutes of starting out on its maiden voyage.

Sid Hashim, a 62-year-old engineer from Carshalton in south London, bought the £3,000 vessel with his son Mark and had headed to St Peter Port in Guernsey to pick it up.

The boat initially stayed in the marina to be patched up a little, but with the work done the duo were excited to get out onto the waves - despite the fact that the sun had gone down by the time it was ready. They decided to test the water by moving the yacht from the marina to a neighbouring harbour - a journey of just 700 metres.

That was when disaster struck: a high tide prevented the Hashims from noticing a reef just outside the harbour, and they dashed the craft - a pale blue 24ft yacht named 'Ardel' - against the rocks.

Their SOS call was quickly answered by a lifeboat, but their rescuers were unable to get close enough to help them off. Eventually they were taken to safety by a dinghy - with their boat left marooned on the rocks.

"They were doing it in the middle of the night," explained Guernsey harbour master Peter Gill. "They were about 400 metres into the journey.

"They had been on the top of the tide and it deposited them on the rocks. In the end a harbour dinghy took them off because the lifeboat couldn't reach them."

A gloomy weather forecast initially suggested that the boat might well be dashed to bits by waves before it could be recovered, but the boat was successfully towed off the rocks late on Monday.

But the hapless Mr Hashim isn't out of the woods yet: a colleague of the engineer at his offices in Penge told the Telegraph that he had phoned in sick after the incident so he could stay in Guernsey and try to recover the vessel.

"I'm worried for him now as everyone will know what's happened," she said.

Not that Mr Hashim himself is too bothered, apparently: "He has taken it all in his stride," his wife, Linda, told the Daily Express.

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