Fishermen rescued after boat sinks four miles off coast

RESCUE The fishermen being transferred from Lazy Bear to the lifeboat''Pictures: RNLI
RESCUE The fishermen being transferred from Lazy Bear to the lifeboat''Pictures: RNLI
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TWO fishermen were rescued when their boat was swamped by a wave and sank.

The pair were picked up by a nearby yacht and then passed on to the Hayling RNLI.

RECOVERY The fishermen's boat after being towed back

RECOVERY The fishermen's boat after being towed back

David Jennions and Lee Smith, both from Portsmouth, were four miles south of Hayling Island on Saturday.

They had left from Langstone Harbour earlier in the day and by mid-afternoon decided to return home after only catching two fish.

As they got ready to leave they discovered that their anchor chain was wrapped around the propeller on the outboard engine, and as they tried to get it clear the boat swung to the stern and was swamped.

A yacht called Lazy Bear saw the capsize happen and went to help them, and after taking them onboard they were picked up by Derrick Battle, one of the two Hayling lifeboats sent out.

The incident happened too quickly for them to use their VHF radio, and they were not wearing the lifejackets they had on board. Although they were wearing thermals the cold water quickly began to affect them as they clung to the still-floating bow of their boat.

Skipper Mr Jennions, of Cosham, said: ‘We are so pleased that Lazy Bear was in sight of us and that the RNLI lifeboats came to our rescue.’

Mr Smith, also of Cosham, who is getting married next week said thanks to both Lazy Bear and the RNLI.

He said ‘I’m grateful to be alive, and I’m going to get a proper lifejacket and wear it.’

The lifeboat alerted the emergency services to the need for medical assistance and took the two men to Sparks Marina.

They were met by an ambulance, treated for hypothermia, and after a thorough warm-up they were declared fit and taken to the Hayling Lifeboat Station where a hot drink helped them to recover.

As the partially sunken boat was in the shipping lanes the two lifeboats worked together to recover it and they were able to tow it to Hayling Island and moor it at Sparks Marina.

Station operations manager Jonathan Bradbury said ‘The fishermen had a frightening experience but at the end of the day both they and their boat were safely brought ashore thanks to the support of another yachtsman and the RNLI.’