Sailor crashes boat for 13th time

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Glenn Crawley, 55, has repeatedly flipped his catamaran ‘Mischief’ and cost the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (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 Mr Crawley’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 calling him ‘Captain Calamity’.

Mr Crawley’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.

Mr Crawley tried to sail along the wave, dubbed ‘The Widow Maker’, but his vessel was hit by a giant wall of water and flipped over.

Despite admitting that Mischief is gone, Mr Crawley 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.

Mr Crawley 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 but 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.”

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 Mr Crawley 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 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.

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