Busy weekend for Gafirs as rescue service called into action

Gosport and Fareham Inshore Rescue Service (Gafirs) tow a boat that got stuck while sailing from France to Portsmouth on Saturday.
Gosport and Fareham Inshore Rescue Service (Gafirs) tow a boat that got stuck while sailing from France to Portsmouth on Saturday.

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A VOLUNTARY lifeboat service in Gosport has been called into action 10 times in the last nine days.

Gosport and Fareham Inshore Rescue Service (Gafirs) attended three rescues in two days this week.

Yesterday, the crew were tasked to assist a 9m rigid inflatable boat which had broken down and was being swamped by waves on the beach at Lee-on-the-Solent.

The vessel, which had three people on board, was taking on water so two Gafirs’ crewmen used a salvage pump to remove the water. It was taken under tow to Haslar Marina.

As the rescue team were leaving the harbour to return to their base at Stokes Bay, they offered to assist a second vessel which had been struck by engine failure.

Working with Portsmouth Volunteer Harbour Patrol, Gafirs put the vessel in an alongside tow and placed it alongside in its berth.

Twenty-four hours earlier, on Friday, Gafirs had to help a sailor who had got into trouble while travelling from France to Portsmouth.

The skipper of the 24ft yacht called UK Coastguard for assistance when a sail got caught in the boat’s propeller in the middle of the English Channel and knocked out drive. Gafirs located the casualty vessel off Horse Sand Fort in the Solent.

Senior helm Brian Pack said: ‘We soon found the yacht and placed a crewman on board to assist. We rigged a towline and took the vessel in a stern tow to Portsmouth Harbour where we assisted getting it safely alongside.’