Drama as fishing boat sinks in the Solent

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LIFESAVER Peter Slidel has spoken of the dramatic moment he jumped off a boat as it sank to the bottom of the Solent.

A crew from Portsmouth lifeboat station was called out to a commercial fishing vessel about two miles from the coast of Eastney.

SINKING The boat in the Solent.  Picture: RNLI

SINKING The boat in the Solent. Picture: RNLI

When they arrived at about 2.45pm yesterday, the boat, which had two men onboard, was taking on water.

Mr Slidel got on the boat and got the two men off just before it began to capsize.

Mr Slidel, a helmsman, said: ‘That’s when the boat went down hard.

‘As the boat was submerging I managed to jump off and into the water.’

SINKING The boat in the Solent.  Picture: RNLI

SINKING The boat in the Solent. Picture: RNLI

A crew from Gosport and Fareham Inshore Rescue Service picked Mr Slidel out of the water as the fishermen – who were not hurt – were taken back to the lifeboat station.

The wreckage is now at the bottom of the sea, which is about 13ft deep there.

The RNLI managed to attach life rings to the boat to let other vessels know of the danger. Mr Slidel said it was good teamwork by the RNLI and Gafirs.

‘If they had not responded so quickly we would have been looking for two people in the water with no vessel,’ he said.