GAFIRs was called to assist after a 44ft yacht suffered engine failure due to a suspected fire on Sunday (March 18)

GAFIRs (Gosport & Fareham Inshore Rescue Service) were on patrol and were asked to assist a 44ft yacht after the Coastguard received a call at around midday on Sunday (18 March).

The crew of five – two of whom were suffering with serious sea sickness in the freezing, rough Solent waters – contacted the Coastguard after their yacht suffered engine failure. The cause was a suspected fire on board.

Although the vessel was under sail, it was making slow progress as it battled the rough sea and tide. Two sick crew members were deteriorating in the bitterly cold weather that swept the UK at the weekend.

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GAFIRS Lifeboat coxswain Peter Brown said: “The crew did the right thing in the conditions and called for assistance. While they would have been able to make way under sail, they were facing poor conditions and a long journey.

“We soon located the vessel and placed a crew member on board to assist. They assessed the engine with the crew and ascertained the suspected fire was more likely an engine part failure.

“My crew then rigged a stern tow and helped take the vessel on safely to its berth in Gosport Marina, where its crew were very glad to get back on dry land and in the warm.”

In total the operation took two hours and was GAFIRS’ ninth incident of the year.