A SAILOR with over half a century’s experience on the waves sparked a massive rescue operation – after he became seasick.
Around 15 emergency workers were involved in getting retired Essex builder Samuel Longley to safety after the batteries in his anti-sickness watch broke.
The 65-year-old was sailing his £100,000 yacht Daydream Believer south from Peterhead when he was hit by high waves near the Forth.
Samuel, who admits suffering seasickness on a quarter of his expeditions, wears a special watch which combats queasiness by sending electrical signals to his ear.
But the watch stopped working and a green-faced, retching Samuel decided to seek sanctuary at Eyemouth harbour, Berwickshire.
Before he could get there, Samuel became so sick a full-scale emergency rescue was launched in the early hours of Sunday morning.
A lifeboat with seven crew on board, backed by three at the station, was sent out to help Samuel back to port. Two coastguard officers raced to the scene in 4X4s, while a third coordinated the operation. And a two-man ambulance crew was despatched.
After treatment in the back of the ambulance in Eyemouth, and a clean-up of his boat and clothes, Samuel is recovering from his ordeal on the Daydream Believer.
A rueful Samuel admitted: “Coupled with some very large waves I became incredibly sea sick. It developed to a point where I became near incapacitated for a while – so bad in fact that an ambulance was waiting for me at the dock.
“There were 15 people dragged out of bed in the early hours to assist me. Letters of sincere appreciation will follow when I do finally get home.
“This morning when I went to collect my wet gear I found that someone had even taken the time to clean it up, vomit and all, and dry it all out.
“The RNLI were absolutely fabulous as was the coastguard dealing with my original call along with the ambulance crew and the shore crew who helped me.
“All the emergency crews were exemplary – I am so grateful to everyone.”
Despite his seasickness, Samuel started sailing aged 11 and loves the sea so much he still travels around 2,000 miles annually.
He admitted: “I would say I’m sick on nearly 25% of all sailings.
“It gets so bad I think, ‘Sod it, I’m jumping in the sea and I’m going to kill myself’.
“But I love sailing so I bought an anti-sickness watch. It has two electric contacts in the back that send signals from your wrist to your ear to stop you feeling sick.
“But it stopped working, and here we are, being rescued and being sick – it’s quite embarrassing.”
A Coastguard spokesman said: “We were called to an incident at 1.57am on Sunday.
“The sole crew member, a 65-year-old male of the Daydream Believer, was suffering sea sickness due to adverse weather conditions.
“He was treated by a waiting ambulance but was otherwise OK.
“He did the right thing in calling.”