Tag Archives: beach

Friends Don’t Let Friends Drift Away

TSPS members Per Knudsen and Anne Bille were concluding a week-long cruise to the Izu Islands and readying their boat Bifrost to dock at their homeport of Velasis when they encountered an unusual sight:

Sleeping man adrift on a floating mattress in the Uraga Strait
Sleeping man adrift on a floating mattress in the Uraga Strait

Apparently, a young man had a bit too much to drink and had fallen asleep on his floating mattress. According to Per, the guy had drifted more than 500 meters from shore and the prevailing current was pushing him out to sea. Fortunately or unfortunately, no amount of screaming at the young man by the crew of Bifrost roused him from his slumber, so Per called Velasis Marina for help. Bifrost continued to circle him until a Velasis inflatable arrived on the scene and woke up the young man and took him back to dry land.

It’s doubtful the young lad would have reached open water as the Uraga area is quite busy with sailing and small fishing vessels. However, this episode does raise concerns, and as a boating safety organization, TSPS should weigh in with some safety tips.

#1. “Friends don’t let friends drift away.”
Take responsibility for others. At the beach, always be thinking about your safety and that of your friends and family, but if at some point you find yourself absent one friend and one floating mattress, assume the worst and call an emergency hotline.

#2. “Don’t drink and float.”
Obviously. The gentle sway of the sea, a fresh ocean breeze, and one cocktail too many will undoubtedly lull you to sleep. For the high percentage of people who ignore such advice, don’t board a mattress alone- go with a friend. Have fun, converse. Failing that, or a friend, make sure you are either tethered via very long line to a strong tree or that you are in fact in a swimming pool or lake and not on a body of water that covers some 32% of the earth’s surface.

In all seriousness, a high number of people die on the beaches of Japan every summer. Often the cause is alcohol-related or simply ignorance of the environment- unknown depths, currents, rip tides, the effect of too much sun, etc…. Safety should always be of the highest priority when at or on the sea.

TSPS Sail Class Goes Dinghy Sailing

TSPS member Jose Puppim de Oliveira invited current TSPS Sail Class members to the Marine Box 100 Open House Day in Zushi on May 13 from 10:00 to 15:00. Two members of the sail class, Janice Rimmell and Graham Bell, took up the offer along with instructor Randy Erskine. We arrived in Zushi and met up on the beach and were duly joined there by Jose. A short time later we were joined by David Rasmussen and friends.

It was an open-house day, so the club was looking for members. We took ‘The Grand Tour’ and a got a full explanation about membership, fees, etc. We then sailed in a Sea Lark at midday, but could only use the boat for one hour as there were quite a few people wanting to sail. This was Janice’s first time in a boat and I think she grinned from ear to ear all day. Prior to going sailing we had lunch, smoked chicken burgers, on the roof of the club. Also available were curry and other assorted snacks along with hot and cold drinks.

After sailing the Sea Lark, Jose offered us the use of his Laser, an offer we readily accepted. Randy took Janice out for her first experience in a boat nearly big enough for two and with a very low boom. We were joined by Jose’s nine-year-old son Fernando for his first sailing experience. This was a lesson in how to get wet without trying. We returned to the beach where Graham and Jose then went out for a sail. The day finished up with washing all the equipment down and stowing the boat, sails and mast away. After sailing had finished the cold beer machine was a welcoming sight. The weather was perfect for an introduction to sailing, sunny with blue skies and a nice breeze. Marine Box 100 is very good, with changing rooms, good showers and toilet facilities. The club was very happy to lend us two buoyancy aids. Normally there is no food available, but there are plenty of restaurants nearby.

A big thank you to Jose for the invitation.

Randy Erskine