GAFIRS conduct double rescue of ships stranded in the Solent

A GAFIRS lifeboat tows a stranded fishing boat to safety. Picture: GAFIRS
A GAFIRS lifeboat tows a stranded fishing boat to safety. Picture: GAFIRS

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It was a busy weekend for rescuers as they came to the aid of two stranded vessels in the Solent River last weekend.

Crews from Gosport & Fareham Inshore Rescue Service (GAFIRS) were launched on Sunday at 3.40pm to a fishing boat off the coast of Browndown Battery, Lee-on-the-Solent.

Two fishermen on board the 18ft vessel had failed to restart the engine, before a crewman rigged a towline to safely bring the boat ashore on the slipway at Daedalus.

GAFIRS coxswain Brain Pack said: ‘The fishermen were incredibly pleased to see us and very grateful we could get them – and their impressive catch – back to dry land.’

Later that day at 5.38pm, coastguard deployed a crew from the GAFIRS base in Stokes Bay, Gosport, following public reports of a sailing vessel off Hill Head, making slow progress in the dark with no navigation lights.

Using its radar and on-board night vision system, the crew located the yacht, which was being sailed single-handedly by its skipper.

Mr Pack added: ‘When we located the vessel the skipper told us he had no power as his engine had failed and he was struggling to make way in the low wind.’

GAFIRS towed the 30ft yacht to its mooring and assisted the skipper back to shore at Calshot, on the west side of the Southampton water.