Double rescue drama for Gosport lifeboat crews in the Solent

Gafirs tow a yacht back to shore
Gafirs tow a yacht back to shore
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RESCUE teams from Gosport and Fareham were called to save two yachts on Sunday after one ran aground and another hit the submarine barrier in the Solent

The volunteer lifeboat crew from Gosport & Fareham Inshore Rescue Service (Gafirs) rushed to help the vessel which ran aground on Ryde Sands at 4pm.

The 33ft yacht, with two people on board, was listing at a 45-degree angle after hitting the sand bank in a falling tide.

Gafirs coxswain Brian Pack said: ‘We sent a crew member to investigate the situation and found the crew of the casualty vessel were safe and well.

‘They were happy to wait for the tide to rise and attempt to refloat themselves.

‘While we were dealing with this situation we were tasked to another emergency after a yacht hit the submarine barrier off Southsea and issued a mayday distress call.’

The Gosport lifeboat was on the scene within minutes and placed a member of crew on the casualty vessel, which had two people on board and had sailed across the Channel from France.

Mr Pack added: ‘The yacht lost steering after hitting the barrier and was in a precarious place. We quickly towed the vessel to safer water and then on to Haslar Marina in Portsmouth Harbour.’

Once the French boat was secured, the lifeboat was re-tasked to tow the stricken yacht stuck at Ryde back out to sea.

In total the two operations lasted more than four hours.