Drama that really brought home dangers of the sea

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Last Saturday, while out running I spotted two men in the sea clambering to get back up the steep gradient of the seawall off Haslar at Gosport.

As the swell threw them up on to land, they attempted to get a foothold. But they were thwarted and dragged back into the sea.

They were two fishermen brothers down from Southampton. One had cast out and slipped, falling into the sea. His brother went in for him as he couldn’t swim.

Another angler was lying on the flat section of the sea wall, holding out a fishing rod to one of the men.

But the force of the waves and slippery surface was making this very difficult indeed.

Instantly, my mind went back to the previous weekend. Whilst walking the dogs, we had watched members of the Gosport and Fareham Inshore Rescue Service at Stokes Bay launch both their craft to look for a man who was believed to have fallen from one of the Isle of Wight ferries.

Sadly, his body was later washed up on the shoreline at Hayling Island. He was only a short distance from the safety of Old Portsmouth, but the strong current took him out to sea.

The two fishermen’s soaked clothes made it even heavier going for them as they desperately reached for the outstretched fishing rod.

The first man managed to grab on and we hauled him up to safety. His brother soon followed.

They sat shaking from a combination of the cold and pure shock. Their hands were ripped open from trying to cling on to the rough seawall. Blood dripped on to the floor.

Luckily, the kind people at the Stokes Bay golf course were in and helped warm up the men, then offered them use of the shower.

We are so lucky to live on the coast in this lovely part of the country. But days like last Saturday remind all of us how dangerous the sea can be.

It’s a chilling thought, but if those two lads had been on their own fishing with no-one else around, without any doubt they would have been swept out to sea as well.