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Catamaran helped into Weymouth and West Bay
Coastguards and lifeboat crews have been praised by the skipper of a catamaran helped twice in as many days.
Nigel Cresswell is the skipper of the Dajo, an 11-metre catamaran that was guided to harbour in West Bay on Tuesday night in bad weather and towed into Weymouth harbour on Wednesday evening.
He praised coastguards and the lifeboat crews who came to his rescue.
“The coastguards have been fantastic. They were waiting for us at the pontoon.
“The guys on the lifeboats were very helpful. They are all very professional teams.
“The coastguards on the radio were fantastic and obviously just keen to help.”
Mr Cresswell, 54, who has been sailing for 24 years, picked up the boat with his partner Carol Edwards in Greece in July.
Together with help from friends joining as crew, he has been making his way home to Chatham, Kent, ever since.
After sailing up through the French canals he and crewmate Tina Cook, 60, sailed across to Dartmouth.
They then started along the coast.
Mr Cresswell said: “I made a bad decision to come out of Dartmouth.
“Halfway across the bay the weather got worse.”
He called the coastguard to register their position and said they were making for Lyme Regis with an expected time of arrival.
But when they got to Lyme they found it ‘impossible’ to put the catamaran anywhere so they decided to head for Portland. Mr Cresswell said the coastguards called them back and asked if they wanted help to Lyme Regis.
He said: “I said I’d take their advice.
“They decided it would be easier to get into West Bay.”
Lyme Regis lifeboat helped them into harbour in their 40th emergency ‘shout’ of the year.
On Wednesday, the Deja made for Poole but as they were coming out of West Bay a rope got wrapped around one propeller, stopping one of the vessel’s two engines.
They continued their journey on the second engine, but then one of the rudders went, and Mr Cresswell decided to call Portland Coastguard.
He said: “I thought there are too many things wrong now.”
Weymouth lifeboat towed them to Weymouth where they were met by Wyke Regis coastguard rescue team.
After doing repairs on the propeller and steering Mr Cresswell said he hoped to continue the journey.
A spokesman for the coastguard said that the vessel had been escorted into West Bay due to bad weather conditions.
He added that the following day the crew had been ‘unlucky’ in suffering a ‘simple mechanical failure.’