Children rescued off the coast of Gosport by coastguard and volunteer crew after they were 'starting to struggle' in the water

A RESCUE team saved two children off the coast of Gosport after they ‘drifted away’ from a vessel and were ‘starting to struggle’ in the water.

Tuesday, 19th April 2022, 4:48 pm
Updated Tuesday, 19th April 2022, 9:09 pm

Members of the Hill Head Coastguard Rescue Team were visiting Gosport lifeboat station on Sunday at around 5pm, when they witnessed an incident unfolding not far from the launching slipway of the station.

According to the team, two children had been enjoying a swim in the warm weather when the current started to pull them from their vessel.

With the water at 9C, they started to struggle as the cold set in.

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Members of the coastguard rescue team immediately alerted the volunteer crew at the lifeboat station, who were still on watch from their duty day, while the yacht issued a mayday call asking for immediate help.

With one child 60 metres away from the yacht and the other around 100 metres due to the strong current, the Gosport and Fareham independent lifeboat was launched and within eight minutes of the original call, had both children out of the water and in the safety of the lifeboat.

A crew member said: ‘Had the lifeboat station not been open with crew in attendance, this incident could have been a lot worse for all concerned.’

Both children were suffering from shock and exposure to the cold water, and medical assistance was requested from the South Central Ambulance Service which sent multiple vehicles to the scene.

With both children and their mother safely ashore, two crew members from the lifeboat were placed on board the catamaran to assist the skipper with his transit to Haslar Marina, in Portsmouth Harbour, where a second unit from Hill Head Coastguard Rescue Team met them to assist with berthing.

The crew member added: ‘It’s so important to take precautionary steps when enjoying the water; knowing the weather and tides and ensuring that you are suitably dressed, as it is easy to underestimate the speed at which the cold water can limit a swimmer’s ability.’

This was the 20th incident so far in 2022 for the Gosport and Fareham Inshore Rescue Service.