‘Captain Calamity’ flips catamaran for 13th time


A hapless sailor dubbed ‘Captain Calamity’ has destroyed his catamaran after flipping it for the 13TH time – while attempting to ride Britain’s biggest wave.

Bungling Glenn Crawley, 55, has repeatedly flipped his catamaran ‘Mischief’ and cost the RNLI £30,000 in a string of rescues.

The retired electrician and engineer began sailing the boat in 2003 and was forced to dial 999 three times in the first year alone.

Since then RNLI crews have been called out on a further nine occasions after Glenn’s catamaran turned over – at a cost of at least £2,500 per rescue.

Officials have pleaded with him to give up sailing – with local coastguards and the RNLI dubbing him ‘Captain Calamity’.

But Glenn’s seafaring antics now look over after he crashed his boat for the 13th time in seven years.

The 18ft boat has been left in pieces after he attempted to ride Britain’s biggest wave – known as the Cribbar – at Fistral Beach in Newquay.

Glenn tried to sail along the wave – dubbed ‘The Widow Maker’ – but his vessel was battered by the giant wall of water and flipped over.

Lifeguards were once again required to pluck him from danger making it the 13th time he has been rescued since he bought the £1,200 boat.

But despite admitting that Mischief is lost forever, Glenn warned he could soon be back at sea.

He still insists he is a ”man of the water” and says his ”extreme sailing” is pushing the boundaries of maritime adventure.

Glenn said: ”People race cars or climb mountains but no one gets on their case.

”I’m the first one to admit I make the occasional mistake. You have to put it in context.

”People are so keen to criticise, they need to look at the big picture. I’m out there taking risks. I’m pushing the limits and seeing what can be done.

”I do what no one else is doing. So I’d appreciate it if people would get off my case and give me some support.

”If you don’t capsize, you’re not trying hard enough. Go hard or go home, that’s my motto. I’m always going hard.

”The sea by its very nature is unpredictable. I’m going through a never-ending learning curve.

”Anyway I’ll have a new boat after Christmas. They’re not that expensive. We’re not talking about the Titanic here.”

Glenn began sailing the Mischief in 2003 and within the months he had been forced to dial 999 three times.

Local fishermen have also helped right his boat countless occasions and he soon picked up the nickname Captain Calamity.

In 2007 he was rescued FOUR times in FOUR hours by local sailors and coastguards after he flipped his boat.

On one occasion RNLI lifeboat crews found Glenn and his fellow sailor swimming towards the shore having abandoned the boat in the surf.

On the official log for the incident the rescue mission was detailed under the headline ”him again”.

But he finally destroyed Mischief last Wednesday (22/09) after he took the boat through a crowd of 15 surfers to sail along the Cribbar.

Known as Britain’s biggest wave, the 50-tonne wall of water travels at 40mph to shore at Fistral Beach.

The Cribbar occurs just once or twice a year and is created by a low pressure system which causes gigantic swells in the Atlantic.

It is formed when the swell strikes a rocky shelf half-a-mile offshore known as the Cribbar Reef, whipping up a sheer wall of water.

But father-of-one Glenn’s attempt to sail along the giant wave ended in disaster when the boat was smashed into the shore.

Glenn said he believes he deserves respect for his ”extreme sailing” – arguing that he is pushing the limits of the sport.

Paul Benney, RNLI area lifeguard manager, said his team watched Glenn enter the water last Wednesday and had prepared themselves for a potential rescue.

He said: “The Fistral lifeboats noticed him coming round the headland, so from then on they kept an eye on him.

“When he got amongst the surfers, they launched the jet ski. Captain Calamity was chucked out of his catamaran so he informed the coastguards he had overturned it, but it just got munched.

“The boat ended up in several pieces, so there’s no Mischief anymore. I doubt it will stop him sailing, though – he doesn’t seem the type to stop and I’m sure he’ll find something else to ride.”

The RNLI estimates it costs £2,500 when a lifeboat is needed as every time time they are called out 16 people – all local part time volunteers – race to the station.

Five will then handle the call – three on the boat, one to use a tractor to drag it into the water and one to co-ordinate back in the base.



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