Ten British tourists and the driver of a RIB were thrown into the sea when the vessel crashed into a fountain in Harstad harbour, Norway

Ten British tourists and the driver of a RIB are recovering after they were thrown into the icy waters of Harstad harbour in northern Norway following a boating accident yesterday afternoon.

Two RIBS carrying a total of 24 people, including three crew, were caught up in the incident.

A Harstad police spokesman said: “There were two rigid inflatable boats that were on a trip near Harstad. On the way back towards land one of the boats had an accident and crashed into a fountain at Harstad Harbour and the people wound up in the water.”

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The collision happened at around 1500 local time on 16 February 2017.

Witnesses said both boats were travelling at high speed and the passengers were thrown into the sea “like dolls”.

The passengers and driver spent around 15 minutes in the near freezing water before being rescued.

Boating accident in harstad harbour in northern norway

Members of the emergency services at Harstad harbour, Norway. Credit: Reuters/You Tube

They were then transferred to hospital for check-ups and treatment.

None of the injuries are believed to be life threatening, although the RIB driver has been transferred to Tromso hospital with serious injuries.

The British tourists were on an organised boat excursion when the accident happened.

A spokesman for the holiday company, Inghams said six guests and the tour leader are reported to have minor injuries.

Boat accident in Norway

Police officers at Harstad harbour. Credit: Reuters/You Tube

Of these six, four guests and the tour leader are staying overnight in Harstad hospital on a precautionary basis.

The Foreign Office has been informed of the accident and said was ready to support the British tourists affected.

The town of Harstad, which is on the largest island in Norway, Hinnøya, is popular with tourists.