Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Skipper and crewman rescued from sinking Portsmouth trawler

A skipper and his crewman were rescued from a fishing trawler just seconds before it sank off the Hampshire coast.

Solent Coastguard received a Mayday call from the skipper of Sea Bird P283, reporting that they were sinking one-and-half miles from Langstone Harbour.

The two men were recovered by a Portsmouth RNLI Lifeboat on Sunday afternoon.

The 36ft (11m) trawler, which had 1,000 litres of diesel onboard, sank.

The Portsmouth registered trawler used a hand flare to confirm its position at about 15:00 BST.

Adrift and un-stable

After the first crewman was transferred to the lifeboat the trawler's engine failed leaving the vessel adrift and unstable in the 3m swell.

The lifeboat crew managed to secure the second casualty but the boat was pushed away by the swell.

Helmsman Pete Slidel said: "After the engine cut out, it was only about four or five seconds before the boat started to go, as the bow went up on the next wave the stern just went under and it began to capsize."

The RNLI and Gosport Rescue collected debris from the sunken vessel and marked the wreck's position with a buoy.

Tony Wheeler, watch manager of Solent Coastguard, said: "Unfortunately, the vessel sank very quickly and couldn't be saved, but the two men are both safe."

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