THIS WEEK IN 1997: Teenagers are left clinging to boat

Mike Saunders, right, and lifeboatman Paul Lewis guide the dinghy to shore
Mike Saunders, right, and lifeboatman Paul Lewis guide the dinghy to shore

Three schoolboys who swam out to help a sailor whose racing dinghy was caught in a fast-flowing tide were rescued by Portsmouth in-shore lifeboat.

Three schoolboys who swam out to help a sailor whose racing dinghy was caught in a fast-flowing tide were rescued by Portsmouth in-shore lifeboat.

The Waterlooville youngsters saw Mike Saunders struggling with the boat as he tried to free its mast trapped in mud on Langstone harbour seabed.

The dinghy had capsized in force five winds and air bags meant to keep the boat afloat had deflated.

A man helping Mr Saunders crew the Fireball-class dinghy swam ashore to raise the alarm.

None of the five had been wearing life-jackets.

The three teenagers, who were swimming near the disused bridge off Hayling Island, swam the 100 metres to the boat and were in the water when the Eastney-based lifeboat arrived.