PICTURES: Jet skiers rescued off coast near Gosport after ski engines fail
Two jet skiers were rescued by lifeboat crews last night after their skies were struck by engine failure.
Volunteer rescue crews from Gosport & Fareham Inshore Rescue Service (GAFIRS) were launched just before 8.15pm after the pair were spotted drifting dangerously.
They were reported to be drifting about a mile south of Gosport Lifeboat Station in Stokes Bay.
Rescuers found them alongside a military landing vessel, which had towed them out of trouble.
GAFIRS senior coxswain Brian Pack said: ‘We took over the tow from the military vessel so they could get on with their job and placed the two jet skiers on board the lifeboat.
‘One was starting to feel particularly cold as the sun was beginning to set so we helped warm him up.
‘With the jet skis safely under a stern tow we took them back to Calshot where they had left their vehicle and trailers. They were both incredibly grateful for the assistance.’
The operation lasted three hours, and was GAFIRS’ 33rd incident this year.
In a separate incident last night, the Cowes RNLI lifeboat rescued a 28-year-old man who had been spotted sitting on a half-submerged stationary jet ski off Osborne Bay.
He had managed to swim to a passing RIB boat before being taken aboard the lifeboat.
The man was rushed back to the Cowes station to recover from the cold, while lifeboat members dragged the jet ski back to the shore.
He said he had bought the jet ski second-hand for £4,500 three days before, but had suffered a mechanical problem after he crossed the Solent from Lee-on-the-Solent.
After finding the man had no money, Red Funnel kindly gave him free travel on a Red Jet to Southampton where a friend was waiting to drive him back to Gosport.