One recent news story that will have caught the eye of many a person with an interest in private yacht charter was that of two women who reportedly got lost while out at sea for a whopping five months, until being rescued by the US Navy far out in the Pacific Ocean late last month.
Jennifer Appel and Tasha Fuiaba said they encountered a series of problems that blew their 2,700-nautical mile trip from Hawaii to Tahiti off-track, any one of which could have conceivably left them at risk of dying of starvation at sea.
Not only did Appel apparently lose her phone over the side, denying her a way of keeping in contact with her mother, but their engine also died, their mast broke and they were left in a deserted space of ocean, meaning that no radio distress signals were able to get ashore.
Could such a thing happen to you?
The pair’s ordeal naturally attracted plenty of media attention – the Guardian among the outlets to talk of their survival of “shark attacks, the loss of their engine and then their main mast… now, two sailors and their dogs are finally safe”.
However, questions have also been asked as to whether Appel and Fuiaba may have been a little economical with the truth, with Metro reporting the authorities’ claim that there are several holes in their extraordinary tale.
Whatever the truth of the duo’s adventure, it nonetheless raises an important question if you are contemplating private yacht charter, whether you are a sailing novice or veteran – have you truly done everything possible to ensure you can survive if you do one day end up lost at sea?
Some common-sense precautions can go a long way
The good news is that we go to such great measures ourselves here at Sail Puppy to help to ensure your safety when hiring a yacht from us – including inspecting yachts for correct maintenance to high standards – that you don’t have to do much yourself to ensure the utmost peace of mind.
Such steps should include always topping up your water tanks whenever you reach port, ensuring that every person on board has access to about six litres of drinking water and storing some dried and tinned food. Indeed, on the subject of food, it’s better to have too much than too little, especially when planning to sail in areas with scattered islands and ports.
Ultimately, what’s important when you are embarking on a private yacht charter is self-reliance. The sailing process in itself teaches you a lot about that, but it’s also vital – especially when you are a newcomer – to sail conservatively, watching the weather forecasts and following an itinerary that enables you to make it back if the forecast suggests you could be wind bound in port.
All in all, we wish you many hours and days of happy – and safe – sailing when you choose Sail Puppy for private yacht charter!