Distress beacon goes off in Haslar Marina

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BAD weather caused a distress beacon to go off in the Solent – and led to a rescue search.

The Coastguard was alerted just before midnight on Friday to the flare which was activated near Portsmouth Harbour entrance.

Gosport and Fareham Inshore Rescue Service (Gafirs) was mobilised to search for a vessel in distress.

The crew were able to narrow it down to be coming from Haslar Marina, Gosport.

Coxswain Brian Pack said: ‘Using Gosport lifeboat’s lifesaving equipment we were quickly able to narrow the search down to a vessel moored up in Haslar Marina.

‘Working alongside HM Coastguard’s shore team we located the EPIRB and were fortunately able to confirm it was a false alarm.’

There was no-one aboard the catamaran when the emergency beacon was triggered, but it is believed the stormy weather had activated it unintentionally.

Mr Pack added: ‘The vessel was being knocked around quite considerably by the challenging weather which could have activated the EPIRB, but it was functioning as it should be.

‘We’re just glad it was a false alarm and there was no one in danger’.