Boat owners are being warned to check weather forecasts before they leave harbour.

Boat owners are being warned to check weather forecasts before they leave harbour. If they are in any doubt at all about setting out they should err on the side of safety and stay put.

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) issued the warning after several yachts got into difficulties in the English Channel over the Bank Holiday weekend. “Weather conditions were well forecasted yet these yachts still chose to set sail”, they said, “Anyone not heeding the weather forecasts is putting at risk their safety and the lives of the crew of the lifeboats who invariably have to go to their assistance.”

Although the three boats rescued were sailing craft, the MCA stressed that “All vessels should check the weather conditions for the duration of their intended voyage.”