Doofus Of The Day #893

Today’s award goes to a hapless thief in Scotland.  A tip o’ the hat to reader M. L. for sending me the link.

A man with no sailing experience who stole a yacht – and then had to be rescued during a storm – has been jailed for 19 months.

Cathal Matthew, 29, sailed 50 miles out to sea after stealing the £6,000 boat from Portknockie Harbour in Moray.

But he had to be rescued when he became stranded in a gale force 8 storm in the Moray Firth.

After drifting near an oil rig, Matthew managed to grab the attention of a ship captain who took him on board.

He was sentenced at Elgin Sheriff Court having previously admitted stealing the Tradewind vessel and a car and driving while disqualified.

There’s more at the link.

I think Mr. Matthew is lucky to be alive.  As for his lawyer, I think the man needs some serious help.

Defence lawyer Robert Cruickshank said his client had acted in an impulsive manner and put this down to it being a coping mechanism “arising out of stress”.

Stress?  Stress?  Surely he could come up with a better excuse than that?  If putting one’s life in danger is a ‘coping mechanism’, I don’t want to know what his client does for light relief when he isn’t stressed!



  1. In my own experience, sailing is a very good way of coping with stress. The look of a well trimmed sail and the sound of the wind through the rigging is quite relaxing. I spent quite a bit of time out on Narragansett Bay in Rhodes 19 while I was in Quartermaster 'A' School.

    Gale force winds, however, are not included in my idea of a relaxing time sailing.

  2. The story is a tragedy, from the standpoint of the boat owner. Here's a guy who wiped out about $12,000 worth of savings to help out a widower friend, and this clown ruins the boat for him. Whatever it costs, the guy who stole it sure doesn't seem likely to be fixing it or paying to get it fixed.

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