Lifeboat crews complete double rescue off Solent coast

GAFIRS lifecrew carrying out their first rescue of the weekend on Saturday afternoon
GAFIRS lifecrew carrying out their first rescue of the weekend on Saturday afternoon
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TWO sailors were pulled to safety by rescuers after their dinghy capsized in the Solent.

Gosport & Fareham Inshore Rescue Service (GAFIRS) were called by UK Coastguard at about 3pm on Sunday after a report of two sailors struggling to control their craft near Stokes Bay.

One of the sailors managed to climb on board a passing yacht and the lifeboat crew helped the second one steady the dinghy.

GAFIRS coxswain Pete Byford said: ‘We transferred both casualties onto the lifeboat and towed the dinghy back to shore.

‘One of the young sailors was suffering from the affects of being in the water too long so an ambulance was called.’

The sailor was checked overby paramedics from the South Central Ambulance Service but was later discharged.

Hill Head Coastguard Rescue also helped GAFIRS deal with the incident.

The rescue was the second achieved by the lifeboat service over the weekend.

On Saturday lunchtime a lifeboat was called to help a 16ft speedboat, which had suffered an engine failure off Gilkicker.

The vessel was towed back to Hardway Sailing Club, and the casualties were helped safely ashore.

The two incidents were the 58th and 59th of the year for GAFIRS.

The service is completely independent of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution and relies on public donations to keep it afloat.