Solent rescue saves two from sinking powerboat

Two people were rescued from the water and a third swam to shore after a powerboat began to sink off Gilkicker point last night

Reports of a sinking speedboat in the Solent sparked a multi-agency rescue bid last night, with lifeboats and Coastguard helicopters called into action.

The alarm was raised at around 1730 when a passing yacht reported debris in the water off Gilkicker point.

An adult and child were rescued from the water by a passing vessel and taken to the RNLI station at Cowes.

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When the authorities were informed that a third person had been on board, a widespread search and rescue operation was launched.

The Lee-on-Solent Coastguard helicopter, Gosport and Ryde independent lifeboats, along with the Hampshire Marine Police began to scour the Solent for the missing person.

The search was eventually called off when the missing person was found to have swum ashore in Gosport, around two miles north east of where the sinking powerboat was spotted.

Gosport lifeboat then worked to tow the stricken vessel to shore, so it would not pose a navigation hazard to other vessels.

Following the incident, Craig Needham from the Marine and Coastguard Agency, said that the three people involved had been very lucky to be spotted by a passing vessel:

“If we were not made aware there could have been a very different outcome,” he added.

“It really is important that if you own a boat you get a DSC VHF radio so that you can raise the alarm if the worst should happen.

“A Personal Locator Beacon is also a useful and simple method for raising an alert particularly if the electrics fail.”


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