Man rescued from sea after boat drifts away

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RESCUERS plucked a man from the sea after he dived in to the water and became separated from his yacht.

Gosport & Fareham Inshore Rescue Service (GAFIRS) was paged by UK Coastguard at 9pm on Sunday evening after a woman dialed 999 and reported her husband in difficulties in the water in Portsmouth Harbour.

The family of four were moored up near Portchester Castle when their yacht’s tender drifted away.

The skipper stripped off and dived in after the rowing boat, but it escaped him.

It was at this point his wife called emergency services.

Coxswain Pete Byford said: ‘When we arrived on scene the police launch vessel Sir Geoffrey Rackham had managed to pull the man from the water. We transferred him on to the lifeboat and wrapped him in an emergency blanket to keep him warm.

‘We then returned him to his yacht, where he was reunited with his family and we took them all back safely to shore.’

GAFIRS’ voluntary lifeboat crew then searched Portsmouth Harbour for the missing tender and found it on the foreshore at Port Solent. The crew retrieved it and returned it to the jetty at Portchester Castle. The operation lasted three hours.