Letter: Warning for those in needless peril of the sea

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Sir: In view of the recent incidents involving single-handed sailors off the south-west coast of Australia it is time that the Marine Safety Agency took action to discourage such persons from putting to sea alone for long periods of time.

They clearly cannot comply with the International Regulations for the Prevention of Collisions at Sea, since they are unable to keep a "proper look-out by sight and by hearing" at all times, as required by Rule 5. In addition, no prudent mariner would put themselves in the position of being unable to deal with emergencies on their own craft or to assist others because of lack of personnel. My own experience is that professional mariners do not regard such foolhardy expeditions in a favourable light.


Master Mariner