Solent boat blaze drama

TWO people were rescued after their boat caught fire in the middle of the Solent yesterday.

Monday, 7th November 2016, 8:24 am
Updated Wednesday, 16th November 2016, 5:01 pm
Gosport & Fareham Inshore Rescue Service (Gafirs) helped tow a stricken boat safely back to Portsmouth

UK Coastguard asked Gosport & Fareham Inshore Rescue Service and Portsmouth Lifeboat to assist just after 1pm after the vessel issued a distress call.

When Gafirs located the 36ft boat, a mile off Browndown, Gosport, smoke had filled the cabin.

Gafirs coxswain Peter Byford said: ‘Opening the engine hatch could have caused the fire to get worse.

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‘The vessel’s fire extinguisher had snuffed out the flames so we decided to tow the vessel to Portsmouth Harbour where the fire service could investigate further.’

The boat was towed to Camber Dock, where the Portsmouth Coastguard mobile team and the fire service were waiting. Firemen used breathing apparatus to investigate the boat and discovered the source of the blaze on top of one of the engines.

In total, the rescue operation took three hours.