THE rescue helicopter from Lee-on-the-Solent was sent out to rescue a man after his boat exploded.
The man was rescued unhurt after he abandoned the 27ft angling boat, which had suffered multiple explosions during a fire.
He had tried fighting the blaze, but abandoned it six miles off Shoreham when it become engulfed with flames.
The skipper called 999 and Solent Coastguard co-ordinated a rescue operation to recover him from his life-raft around 10am yesterday.
As well as the helicopter, RNLI lifeboats from Shoreham and Littlehampton went out and these brought him back to shore.
Jenna Smith, watch officer for Solent Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Centre, said: ‘This was a very dangerous situation and required a swift response.
‘The boat was well alight and very hazardous, as it was carrying 150 litres of diesel and two gas canisters.’