Sea rescuers called to save hovercraft which broke down in Solent

The hovercraft rescued by Gafirs
The hovercraft rescued by Gafirs
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LIFEBOAT volunteers rescued a hovercraft after its fan was put out of action.

The Gosport and Fareham Inshore Rescue Service (Gafirs) was called by the Solent Coastguard when the 10ft 9in craft broke down in the Solent.

Material stowed on the craft had come loose and was sucked through the fan.

As a result, the drive of the fan was destroyed, leaving the leisure hovercraft, which had one person aboard, floating in the water.

Gafirs coxswain Mike Allen said that the hovercraft had lost its forward motion and it was just sitting, not moving, in the water.

‘But because hovercraft are relatively light they were able to pull the front of it onto the back of the boat.

A second small hovercraft was among vessels also on the scene, waiting alongside the first until the Gafirs crew arrived.

Gafirs volunteers secured the bow of the hovercraft to the platform at the stern of their lifeboat.

It was then towed to the shore at Elmore Point in Lee-on-the-Solent, where the lifeboat crew brought the craft onto the beach.

It was the second incident of the day for the volunteers at Gafirs on Sunday.

Earlier that day they were called by Solent Coastguard to help a kitesurfer who was in difficulties in the water off the Osborne View pub at Hill Head.

Then later in the afternoon they were called to another kitesurfer in trouble.

Yesterday the crew was called to a yacht in trouble in the Solent.

It was suffering from engine failure and a jammed halyard near the Outer Spit Buoy.

They escorted and then towed the vessel to Haslar Marina in Gosport.