UPDATE: Portsmouth men rescued after Caribbean sea ordeal

Two holidaymakers from Portsmouth were saved after spending hours adrift in the Caribbean when a tourist fishing boat sank.

By The Newsroom
Friday, 16th September 2016, 9:45 am
Updated Wednesday, 5th October 2016, 2:40 pm

Steve Cussens and Craig Hardham were on holiday in the Dominican Republic when they were involved in the dramatic rescue.

The pair were on the boat about 10 miles from the coast when it started taking in water and sank, leaving the group stranded.

Following several hours in the water waiting for someone to rescue them, the pair were taken to hospital suffering from severe burns after a rescue plane arrived.

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Mr Cussens told the BBC: ‘When the aircraft went over it was incredible - it was amazing.

‘We still think about it now and it is something that will stay with us for the rest of our lives.

‘We were in deep water with predators around, but at that moment we knew we would get back to our loved ones.’

Mr Hardham added: ‘Most of us managed to push ourselves clear and there was an American couple on board.


‘He turned around and said [his] wife is still on there.

‘All of a sudden she came bursting out, it would have been the top window.’

According to local reports, the boat captain contacted officials at about 11am local time to say the vessel was taking in water and would lose communication.

The search began about an hour later.

The boat My Father was on a trip to the town Luperon, several miles west of the start point at the marina at Puerto Plata.

Steve and Craig were on holiday with their partners, one of whom posted pictures on Facebook of them covered in protective creams as they recovered in hospital.