What Now Skipper?

Solve this month's conundrum

During an East Coast cruise you have found an overnight berth half way up a string of pile moorings. Hardly ideal, but the marina was full. You and your crew are now returning from a nice evening meal in your 4m inflatable. The thing is a pig to row but that’s no problem as your trusty 4hp outboard has never let you down.

When you left the boat it was a fine evening but it has now clouded over and the wind has picked up from the east. Your little engine is making slow but sure headway against a strongly ebbing tide, but the trip is taking much longer than you expected. Suddenly the engine coughs and stops. You spend a fruitless few moments trying to restart it, before it dawns on you that you are out of fuel – by which time you have been carried past the last of the moored boats and are being swept out to sea. You go to your pocket for your mobile to make an emergency call but it’s not there – you must have left it on board.

Extricating yourself from this situation may depend not just on what you do now, but how well you are prepared for this unforeseen situation. So what now, skip?