THREE people were rescued from the water off Stokes Bay after a large wave caused their boat to sink.
A quick-thinking pair of sailors plucked the casualties from the sea after they spotted their sinking vessel.
The duo from Stokes Bay Sailing Club were passing in their two-man dinghy when they spotted the speed boat off Gilkicker.
Gosport and Fareham Inshore Rescue Service (Gafirs), who were on routine patrol in Portsmouth Harbour, were alerted to the emergency by its volunteers back at the lifeboat station who spotted the drama unfold at around 2pm yesterday.
The speedboat had been overcome by the weather with a large wave smashing the windscreen and swamping the boat, prompting it to sink.
Senior helm for Gafirs Brian Pack said: ‘The vessel had sunk so quick the casualties were not even able to raise the alarm.
The vessel had sunk so quick the casualties were not even able to raise the alarm.Brian Pack
‘It was thanks to the quick actions of the two dinghy sailors before we arrived, who had realised the speed boat was in trouble, that these three people were pulled from the water.
‘They showed exceptional skill and courage to pluck them out and into their small dinghy, in blustery conditions, without endangering their own craft.’
Two of the three casualties were suffering from hypothermia and, when ashore, were treated by ambulance crews.
The Gafirs lifeboat then towed the sunken speedboat back to the beach.
Mr Pack added: ‘The casualties were extremely lucky that the passing dinghy spotted them and were able to help – otherwise this serious situation could have got a lot worse very quickly.’
Earlier that day, Gafirs helped two people on board a dinghy. The pair’s craft had lost its rudder and was unable to make its way back to shore.
They were transferred onto the lifeboat and the vessel was towed back to shore.
The incidents were the 26th and 27th of the year for Gafirs, an independent lifeboat service.