On investigation, the tender's outboard engine fuel tap had been left on and, owing to the angle that the engine had been cocked over, petrol had steadily dripped into the boat itself rather than onto the beach.
Whilst the team tried to identify an owner, the tap was turned off and some sand scattered inside the boat to soak up the puddles of fuel; the petrol smell was really strong at this time. Finally, the area was taped off as a precaution.
When the owners returned, they confirmed that the whole tank had drained, and made a note to be more vigilant in turning the fuel off next time. Fortunately they had more petrol on their yacht, but it did mean having to row back instead, the rowing duties being given to the chap who'd forgotten the tap in the first place!
Sadly, the owners hadn't completed and registered a CG66 form, otherwise we may have been able to track them down earlier. This is a voluntary register kept by HM Coastguard which helps us to identify boat owners when boats are missing, stolen, found, washed up or otherwise in difficulty. Why not register yours today?