Concern as Hastings sailing dinghies capsize in ‘sudden gust’

When a sudden gust of wind of swept over the sea off Hastings at the weekend, a resident became concerned for a number of sailors who had been thrown into the water.

Monday, 13th May 2019, 4:29 pm
Picture: Paul Ashton

Paul Ashton was looking out of his window over the sea near Marine Court at approximately 3pm on Saturday, May 11.

He said a ‘sudden gust of wind sweep over the sea’ at the same time as a cloud burst toward some small sailing boats from the nearby Hastings and St Leonards Sailing Club.

Paul said the winds tipped over approximately six or seven of the 12 boats out at sea before an inflatable raft sped out to collect them.

Picture: Paul Ashton

Confirming the incident on Monday (May 13), Andy Francis, commodore at the Hastings and St Leonards Sailing Club, said all sailors were safely assisted back to the clubhouse.

He added: “We had a number of club training and sailing sessions for adults and youth on Saturday afternoon, and as you say, there were a few capsizes during a sudden gust.

“This is not at all unusual when sailing off Hastings, so we always have at least one patrol boat ready to assist.

“On Saturday we had three patrol boats on the water, and when a number of the sailing dinghies capsized, they helped recover the sailors and their boats ashore.

Picture: Paul Ashton

“Although it may have looked dramatic to an observer, I wouldn’t like to characterize it as a ‘rescue’ or ‘call out’. It’s all part of the fun of sailing at Hastings and St Leonards Sailing Club, and I am happy to report that everyone was safely assisted back to the clubhouse after a good afternoon sailing.

“Apparently our youth sailors are hoping for similar conditions next week.”

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Picture: Paul Ashton
Picture: Paul Ashton