News Item

Tourists Set Satnav for Welsh Island

Two American tourists were shocked when they set their satnav to drive to Caldey Island.

Caldey Island is a beautiful tourist attraction off the Welsh coast of Pembrokeshire. It has seals to watch, remarkable birdwatching opportunities and a Cistercian monastery that's been there for over 1500 years, and it still full of brothers who make products for sale.

What it doesn't have is a bridge. Of any kind.

Which means that when an American couple who'd come over for a quiet break by Pembrokeshire's picturesque seaside put co-ordinates for Caldey into their satnav, and followed its directions STRAIGHT INTO THE SEA, they were more than a little mystified to discover they couldn't get to Caldey Island by car. They ended up having to be towed off the beach by locals.

Their satnav mentioned nothing about directions to the local ferry that would have taken them across to the island - perhaps, but probably not, because it doesn't run at this time of year in any case.

In the couple's defence, there are plenty of islands in the world linked to mainlands by some sort of road bridge. On the other hand, very few such road bridges emerge magically out of a horizon filled with ocean.

The Caldey Island case is just the latest in a long line of incidents of drivers blindly trusting their satnavs, and ending up in trouble.

The RIN has always advised that satnavs are navigation aids - NOT replacement brains. Exercise awareness and logic at all times when navigating.

  • 25 February 2015
  • RIN

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