How NOT to circumnavigate the UK

28 April 2010, 10:32 | Updated: 28 April 2010, 10:41

A man had to be rescued after he ran out of fuel circling a small island when he thought he was sailing around the UK coast, the RNLI said.

The Sheerness lifeboat and the Thames Coastguard went to assist the lost sailor when his motor cruiser ran aground off the Elmley Marshes on the Isle of Sheppey off the Kent coast on April 19.

They found that he had set off on the river Medway, from Gillingham, and was heading to Southampton, Hampshire, without navigation equipment or maritime charts and only a road map for directions. He told them he had been keeping the coast to his right and had ended up sailing round the Isle of Sheppey when he ran out of fuel.

A RNLI spokeswoman said: "This guy had run aground after running out of fuel. He was attempting to travel around the UK from Medway to Southampton and somehow lost his bearings and ended up travelling round the Isle of Sheppey. He didn't have the usual maritime charts or navigation equipment.''

A Thames Coastguard spokesman said the motor cruiser was towed to Queenborough and officers gave him advice on fuel usage. It is understood the man then attempted to continue his journey to Southampton.