TRY NOT TO ROCK THE BOAT!
by DUNCAN LARCOMBE
Cruising for a bruising ... boat
is left high and dry
Pictures: TONY RIVE
By DUNCAN LARCOMBE
THESE are the amazing scenes that greeted rescue teams who answered a mayday call from an old sea dog.
The £100,000 luxury motor cruiser got stuck when Alan Waller, 79, smashed into submerged rocks.
As the tide raced out, his pride and joy was left 20 FEET above the waves.
Disaster struck as Alan was cruising off Guernsey at 14 knots - about 17mph - on his last trip aboard the 36ft Power Game II, which he planned to sell.
Incredibly, the boat's keel jammed in a crevice on the notorious Platte Fougere reef.
A local salvage team spent more than 12 hours easing the cruiser out of the crack and towing it four miles to safety.
Alan and a friend suffered cuts and bruises in the impact.
The skipper, who had been making his 15th trip to the Channel island, said yesterday: "It was like hitting a wall in a car."
Salvage expert Richard Keen, who was one of the first to answer the rescue call around lunchtime last week, said: "Basically he simply drove the boat into a crack in the reef which wedged the keel in the rock.
"It was well jammed in when I arrived on the scene. The problem was that when high water came, she was still a foot too high."
"With a monumental effort we managed to roll the boat over and pull her off.
"Then we had a long tow against the tide with three pumps going flat out and only just keeping up with the incoming water."
The salvage team took the boat to St Peter's Port harbour on Guernsey where it was lifted by crane on to the quay.
The bottom of the cruiser was seriously damaged and it now needs a new hull.
Launched in 1992, the beautiful Power Game II was the last Moonraker vessel ever built and was in immaculate condition.
Alan, of Newbury, Berks, said: "After 30 years experience on the water it was just a freak. It was an error on my behalf.
"It was luck the keel hit the rock first or it would have ripped a hole in the hull.
"There was a thousand-to-one chance the boat would land like that."
Deputy harbour master Captain Tony Pattimore said: "The owner realises he made a mistake and he had a lucky escape."