‘I gave them porridge and a cup of tea’: Nature warden reveals how he helped three drunken sailors who had found themselves stranded on an island in the Bristol Channel when they knocked on his door
- Three sailors had been hoping to go for a pint on dry land in Barry, south Wales
- The trio left their Dutch cargo ship in Minehead in an inflatable dinghy
- They left Barry, Wales in the early hours as their boat was about to float away
- They washed up on the tiny island of Flat Holm- with only one official resident
A man on a tiny Welsh island in the Bristol channel has spoken of his shock when he had an early morning knock on the door – as he is the only resident on the island.
Richard Twining revealed how the three sailors from a Dutch cargo ship washed up on his island cold and wet after their night out went ‘horribly wrong’.
Mr Twining, an ecologist volunteering on Flat Holm in the Bristol Channel, was making his breakfast in the island’s only farmhouse when he heard a knock on the door.
Richard Twining revealed how the three sailors washed up on his island cold and wet after their night out went ‘horribly wrong’. One of the sailors, pictured in blue, is taken off the island on an RNLI dinghy
Richard, 29, spends three weeks out of every four staying a farmhouse and is the island’s only official resident.
He said: ‘When you’re on a deserted island you don’t expect a knock on the door.
‘I made them comfortable and gave them blankets, some porridge and a cup of tea.’
The two seamen and their skipper had been hoping to go for a pint on dry land in Minehead, Somerset, after a rough crossing on the cargo ship Alana Evita which was sailing from Hamburg to Avonmouth.
The trio – including Dutch captain Philip Verhoeven – later attempted to sail back to their ship but instead washed up on Flat Holm – a usually uninhabited island in the Bristol Channel
This map shows how the dinghy left the ship at Minehead and went to Barry, before the trio of sailors got lost in fog and ended up on Flat Holm Island
But they misjudged the strong tidal surge of the Bristol Channel and their inflatable dinghy took them to Barry, South Wales.
The trio – including Dutch captain Philip Verhoeven – later attempted to sail back to their ship but instead washed up on Flat Holm – a usually uninhabited island in the Bristol Channel.
Richard said: ‘Once they were safe and secure we phoned the coastguard and then we met the RNLI rescue boat on the beach at the same time.
‘It was a very happy ending – they were really nice guys.
‘They’d had a real pasting coming over from Hamburg and they thought they could just go for a pint and it all went horribly wrong – as it does sometimes.’
After landing in Barry the three men realised they had missed last orders – so tried to secure a hotel for the night.
They were turned down by two hotels because they were wet and weren’t carrying passports but eventually found a place to stay.
The trio had left cargo ship the Alana Evita, registered to the Netherlands, after it was anchored two miles off the coast of Minehead
Mr Brown, 29, said: ‘At 2.45am they had a knock on the door from police saying their boat was about to float away – so they went out again to get back in the boat which had not much fuel.
‘It was dark and foggy they eventually found a buoy and tied themselves to that before setting off again and landing on Flat Holm – they were wet and cold.
‘They were very lucky we were here. We are only on the island three weeks out of four and on that fourth week it is uninhabited.’
‘I asked the men if they would be in trouble with the captain when they got back and one very sheepishly told me ‘I am the captain’.’