TWO people have been rescued after their boat caught fire in the middle of the Solent today.
When Gafirs located the 36ft boat, a mile off Browndown, Gosport, smoke had filled the cabin.
They evacuated the boat’s two crewmen onto a lifeboat before investigating the fire.
Gafirs coxswain Peter Byford said: ‘Opening the engine hatch could have caused the fire to get worse.
‘The vessel’s fire extinguisher had snuffed out the flames so we decided to tow the vessel to Portsmouth Harbour where the fire service could investigate further.’
The boat was towed to Camber Dock, where the Portsmouth Coastguard mobile team and the fire service were waiting.
Firemen used breathing apparatus to investigate the engine bay and discovered the source of the blaze on top of one of the engines.
Once the fire service were happy the vessel was safe to move, Gafirs towed it to Haslar Marina where Hillhead Coastguard mobile team helped Gosport Independent Lifeboat bring the vessel safely alongside.
In total the rescue lasted three hours and was Gosport & Fareham Inshore Rescue Service’s 106th incident of the year.
Gafirs is an independent lifeboat station manned entirely by volunteers, on call to the Coastguard 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.