We were on passage when we saw a RIB stationery in the fairway with someone jumping up and down waving hands in the air. We assumed they were in distress and went over to investigate. There were two persons onboard and a small dog. (The dog was the only one with a lifejacket). The owner explained that he had bought the boat that day and was trying it out. He had no radio, flares, oars, anchor or much else and had suffered engine failure. We offered to pass a tow line, which was accepted and we towed him in to a marina where we dropped the tow. We passed him a paddle so he could get ashore. The owner of the RIB thanked us for our assistance later and returned our paddle. With hindsight I should have contacted the Coastguard (just to keep them advised).
This is a common incident and again illustrates the need to be prepared to go to sea by ensuring adequate safety equipment is available (not just for the dog!) and adequate checks have been undertaken before setting out.
For a related incident with a tragic outcome download the report on the investigation of the loss of one man overboard from the sailing yacht “Pastime” from the MAIB website.
We always hope for the best from our trips to sea and are often not disappointed, but we should always be prepared for the worst.