One man booze cruise

LAST UPDATED: 31 Aug, 2010 @ 13:50
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One man booze cruise

By Nicola Cowell

A BRITISH man has woken up with the worst hangover of his life after trying to row from Minorca to Mallorca in a stolen dinghy.

The tourist, who had a beer too many in Cuitadella, decided to paddle the 40 miles to see a friend on the neighbouring island.

But, not in possesion of a boat, the man stole an inflatable dinghy that was anchored outside a restaurant in the port, and set off to the island.

A fisherman who spotted the dinghy floating eight miles out to sea alerted the coastguard and police after suspecting that it had been stolen.

The man, who had erected a makeshift sail out of an oar and the dinghy cover, was sunbathing on the yacht when he was spotted 35 miles from Mallorca.

A spokesman from the sea rescue service said the man was heading in the direction of Barcelona when he was picked up, drifting aimlessly around the mediterranean.

The man had pleaded with fisherman Josep Anglada in broken Spanish to let him continue with his journey, despite drifting for 24 hours without food or water and only travelling eight miles.

Mr Anglada said: “At first I couldn’t see anyone but then my son saw an ankle poking up over the side and then a man laying down sunbathing with his shirt off.

“The winds were changing and they would have started blowing him off course if I’d left him there.

“There is no doubt that he put himself in a very dangerous position.”

It is not known whether the man did not know how to start the engine or whether the boat ran out of petrol.

A barman at the marine club in Cuitadella said the man had been drinking in the port at lunchtime and made the split decision to take the trip.

“I’m guessing he’s going to feel a bit of a fool when he’s over his hangover,” he said.

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