On the evening of Sunday 14 August, Duet was anchored just off Osea Island in the River Blackwater and her crew were relaxing after a great day’s sailing. The young people on board were mostly DofE students undertaking the Gold Residential section of the award.
At around 21:30hrs, the peace and quiet was broken by the noise of a jet ski passing close by their bowsprit before it circled around the busy anchorage. With nightfall upon them and the jet skier dressed in a black wet suit aboard a black jet ski with no lights there was little to be seen and it was only the noise that attracted their attention. It was therefore obvious that something was amiss when the noise suddenly stopped.
Duet’s Mate boarded their dinghy and went to investigate to find that the jet ski had run out of petrol which with no means of communication and the high tide soon due to turn could have presented the skier with some serious problems. Luckily for the skier Duet’s crew came to his rescue, got him into the dinghy, strapped his jet ski alongside and took him back to the boat where he was made welcome until West Mersea inshore lifeboat, called by Duet and in full communication with Dover Coastguard, came to collect him and his jet ski to take him ashore.
Coincidentally, the lifeboat’s coxswain happened to be the son of Ian Crossley one of Duet’s past skippers.
A good evening’s work by the crews of Duet and the lifeboat and a warning to river users to think about safety before taking to the water.