The pair were rescued from their upturned trimaran after it capsized off the Dorset

A pregnant woman and her partner were rescued from an upturned trimaran on Saturday after their boat capsized off the Dorset coast.

Dover Coastguard received a report from a member of the public at 3pm that two people were in the water one nautical mile off Dungeness Point, clinging to a trimaran’s hull.

Credit: Maritime and Coastguard Agency

Credit: Maritime and Coastguard Agency

HM Customs cutter Valiant was sent to the scene and reached the vessel within minutes.

As they neared it, they spotted a red flare had been fired by the distressed couple.

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The cutter stood by the vessel, ensuring the safety of those in the water and marking the upturned hull.

RNLI crews help the pair ashore after rescuing them

RNLI crews help the pair ashore after rescuing them

Meanwhile, the coastguard requested the Dungeness RNLI lifeboat to launch and the pair were pulled from the water and brought to shore, before being taken to the William Harvey Hospital by helicopter.

RNLI coxswain Stuart Adams said: “These two persons were very lucky people. They did all the right things, wearing lifejackets and staying with their vessel.

“Our quick response after a member of the public rang 999 in the new fast RNLI Shannon, halved the time it would have taken to be on scene and I definitely know that two lives were saved here today.”

RNLI crews move the trimaran after rescuing the couple

RNLI crews move the trimaran after rescuing the couple

The couple were cold and shaken up following their ordeal but otherwise unharmed.

Dover Coastguard watch manager Bob Giles said: “The couple were thrown into the water after their vessel capsized. Both were wearing lifejackets and the man, ensured that his partner was safe, then tied a rope around himself and dived under the vessel to retrieve a flare so that he could alert rescuers to their position.

“Because they had AIS (automatic identification system) on board they were easy to locate and so were rescued quickly.

“The member of the public who made the first call to the coastguard did exactly the right thing by calling 999 and asking for the coastguard.

“It meant that we were able to get rescuers to the scene within minutes of the vessel capsizing.”