Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Hugh’s Fish Fright: Celebrity Chef Rescued By Coastguard
Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall was left looking a tad embarrassed when he had to be rescued by the coastguard during his latest fishing trip.
The TV cook was fishing with his 10-year-old son off Beer Head, on the south Devon coast, when his 19ft boat became stuck between rocks, and started taking on water.
He sent out an SOS to Portland Coastguard and a lifeboat was dispatched from nearby Sidmouth to rescue him.
They found his boat, Elderberry Snifter, balanced precariously on rocks near the eastern end of Branscombe beach, just to the west of Beer Head. It was being buffeted in the surf and was taking on water.
Naomi Firth, 31, one of the five crew on the rigid inflatable Pride of Sidmouth, swam to the celebrity chef’s boat and attached a tow rope, and it was winched ashore about an hour later.
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"Mr Fearnley-Whittingstall was very embarrassed but very happy to be saved,” a spokesman for the Sidmouth Lifeboat told the Sidmouth Herald. “We were glad we got to him before the rocks holed his boat.”
Neither the River Cottage cook or his son were injured, but both were said to be shaken up by the incident.
“Mr Fearnley-Whittingstall was a bit embarrassed but these things happen,” said Beer Coastguard station officer Terry Hoare.
“He’s been back in touch with us and thanked us for all our help.”
I’m not sure how it will affect sales of his River Cottage Catch & Cook courses, but at least customers will be safe in the knowledge that he won’t be skippering the boat himself. Not for £150 a pop anyway.