Not many people look at a few plywood scraps, insulation boards, some coat hangers and silicone adhesive and think, “I’m going to make a boat out of that.”
But two men in their 20s who did and were not wearing life jackets called for help when their oars broke in the North Sea off the coast of Essex and they were stranded in their hastily cobbled together do-it-yourself boat.
They told rescuers that the craft, constructed from scrap plywood, insulation boards and wire coat hangers, was held together with 9 British pounds, or about $13, of silicone adhesive.
Neither wore a life jacket or could swim, according to the Telegraph.
Joff Strutt, of the Clacton Royal National Lifeboat Institution, told The (U.K.) Guardian: “A lot of people may have been working on their homes over Easter, but this was a rather hasty DIY project which nearly landed them in trouble.”
They had been out fishing the previous day and decided to give it another go on Monday, Strutt said.
“At the end of the day’s fishing, they found themselves too far out at sea. Their oars weren’t strong enough and they weren’t wearing life jackets. Fortunately nobody was hurt and they’ve learned a lesson.”
The pair rang the Thames Coastguard about 2.20 p.m. Monday as they were trying to return to Martello Beach Holiday Park in Jaywick.
“You can’t stop people making their own boats, but they need to make sure they know what they’re doing and, if you’re going to sea, make sure you’re wearing a life jacket,” Strutt said.
The boat was later destroyed with the men’s permission.