Crashing off England’s Coast

Ahh the things you can find out while trolling the ‘Net.

According to various British news media reports, the crew of the fishing boat “Oceania”, out of the town of Blyth, blocked emergency radio frequencies for hours while they watched an erotic film on their shipboard television.

Unfortunately, the crew accidentally left their radio switched to the emergency channel while they were relaxing off Britain’s northeast coast. They then settled down to watch the controversial erotic film “Crash” on TV, which was next to the radio – not realizing it was being broadcast over a 30-mile radius on the emergency frequency.

For those unfamiliar with the movie, it stars Holly Hunter and James Spader and tells the story of people who get sexual gratification from car crashes. Which more or less proves that just about anything can be a fetish for someone. Using the emergency frequency for anything but emergencies is a big no-no in the maritime world, which is as it should be.

Back on shore, meanwhile, all heck was breaking loose.

A lifeboat from Berwick was dispatched to alert the crew to their mistake. Frantic British coastguardsmen contacted Channel Four, which was airing the movie, to get them to broadcast an urgent message during the film to alert the Oceania’s crew to turn their radio off the emergency frequency. Lifeboats apparently travel faster than phone calls, or at least faster than TV channel crews late at night, because the lifeboat crew from Berwick reached the Oceania before Channel Four could broadcast any message.

Meanwhile, the skipper of the Oceania apologized for the mistake. He said he had inadvertently jammed a clock radio into the switch that opened the emergency radio channel. He also said he was busy with chores and the movie was simply playing in the background.