S.A.M.M. CATAMARAN GROUP IN TWO RESCUES.
A few weeks ago the S.A.M.M. Catamaran Group were out on the Mar Menor for a day’s sailing on Hamoor, their 24 ft Stryker catamaran. We left CTD (Los Alcazares) in the morning and sailed south-east and rounded Isla del Ciervo and anchored off a beach for a swim and a picnic in the Playa Honda area. Later on we set sail back to Los Alcazares.
It was later in the afternoon when one of our sharp eyed passengers pointed to a small boat in the distance and said that they were waving at us. Being friendly, as most sailors are, we waved back. A minute or two later the same passenger said that they were still waving. Moments later she said “I think they may be in trouble; it looks as if they are waving a white flag”. So, without hesitation, we dropped the sails, started the engine and motored over to find out what was happening.
We found a sailing dinghy, about 12-14 foot long, with a man and two boys aged around 10-12 years old sitting in the dinghy with a lot of water slopping around in the bottom. It had been dismasted and the mast and boom were lying along the length of the dinghy with the sails dragging in the water. We took the boys, who were wearing life jackets, aboard Hamoor, put the dinghy on a long tow rope, turned round and towed them back to Los Nietos.
With the language barrier and the boys very upset we never found out exactly what had gone wrong. What we were sure of was that there was not very much chance of them being picked up by anyone else. The time was already around 5pm, there were no other boats in sight, they were some way off from the shore, and the wind had dropped right away. With no mast and half sunk they were not very visible.
The advice here is: make sure it is only a friendly wave and not something more serious.
The next rescue was rather less dramatic. Our catamaran was out on its mooring and we were going out to it in our dinghy when we noticed a couple of boys in canoes except one of the boys was not in his canoe. They were right by the jellyfish nets and he was struggling in the water with the bow of his canoe sticking up out of the water. It appears that he had capsized and, in trying to scramble back into his canoe, he had managed to get the stern of the canoe either stuck in the sand or tangled up in the nets. We could not manage to free his canoe but we pulled him into our dinghy and took him and the other canoe back to the shore, after the other boy had said he wanted to swim back.