Two fishermen in their 70s were pulled from the Solent near the busy Southampton Water Shipping Channel yesterday after their boat sank


The two had launched their boat from Calshot for a day out fishing when they got into difficulties. One of the men had tried to swim into the boat to retrieve their lifejackets but was unable to reach them before having to force his way back out of the sinking boat.

After nearly an hour in the water, they were spotted by a passing yacht, the Round Britain Experience, which went to their aid. The men were pulled from the Solent by the yacht crew, which made a mayday call to the coastguard.

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Calshot RNLI was launched and was on the scene within 5 minutes and boarded the Round Britain Experience. One of the men was transferred to the Lifeboat and airlifted by Coastguard helicopter to hospital. The other was taken to Warsash and taken to hospital by ambulance.

RNLI helmsman Mark Weatherhead said: “Its really important when going out to sea that safety checks are done prior to launch, let people know where you are going and make sure safety equipment is easily to hand, It’s lucky the passing yacht spotted them and raised the alarm. We wish them a speedy recovery.”

RNLI Shore crew Phil Williams and added: “We train regularly and often with the coastguard to make sure that when we need to work together in situations like this airlifting casualties from the Lifeboats is done swiftly and effectively”.