The quick thinking sailors plucked three people from the water after they spotted the sinking speedboat off Gilkicker, Stokes Bay in Gosport. Watch as they are assisted by the Gosport & Fareham Inshore Rescue Service (GAFIRS)

Two sailors from Stokes Bay Sailing Club rescued three people after their speedboat sank in the Solent.

The pair, who were out in their two-man dinghy, spotted the sinking vessel off Gilkicker, Stokes Bay near Gosport on Saturday (29 April).

It sank so quickly that the speedboat’s skipper didn’t have time to raise the alarm.

The dinghy sailors pulled the three people from the water.

Meanwhile, the Gosport & Fareham Inshore Rescue Service (GAFIRS), who were on routine patrol in Portsmouth Harbour, were alerted to the emergency by its volunteers back at the lifeboat station who spotted the drama unfold at around 1400.

According to GAFIRS, the speedboat had been overcome by the weather with a large wave smashing the windscreen and then swamping the boat, prompting it to sink.

GAFIRS lifeboat was on the scene in minutes and found the three casualties perched in the small two-man dinghy.

GAFIRS senior helm, Brian Pack, said: “The vessel had sunk so quick the casualties were not even able to raise the alarm – it was thanks to the quick actions of the two dinghy sailors before we arrived, who had realised the speed boat was in trouble, that these three people were pulled from the water.”

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‘They showed exceptional skill and courage to pluck them out and into their small dinghy, in blustery conditions, without endangering their own craft,” he added.

The casualties – two of whom were suffering from hypothermia – were transferred onto GAFIRS lifeboat and taken to shore.

The lifeboat was beached and the three casualties taken into the lifeboat station where they were treated by ambulance crews.

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The lifeboat then picked out flotsam from the water which had drifted away from the sunken vessel before taking the boat under tow and back to shore.

Pack added: “The casualties were extremely lucky that the passing dinghy spotted them and were able to help – otherwise this serious situation could have got a lot worse very quickly.”

Earlier on Saturday, GAFIRS spotted a small sailing dinghy with two people on board in need of assistance.

The pair’s craft had lost its rudder and was unable to make its way back to shore.

A GAFIRS crewman entered the water and assisted the pair with removing the rigging, before they were transferred onto the lifeboat and the vessel was towed back to shore.