Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Fisherman Chris Hubbard describes sunken boat rescue

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Media captionTwo fishermen have been rescued after their fishing boat capsized, plunging them into the sea off the Isle of Wight.

Two men have described the moments when their fishing boat capsized and sank off the Isle of Wight coast.

Coastguards spotted a life raft after a red distress flare was reported west of the Needles at about 08:00 BST.

The men had been in a life raft for more than two hours when the Yarmouth lifeboat brought them ashore. Both were suffering from mild hypothermia.

Skipper of the 14m (46ft) boat, Chris Hubbard, 31, from Poole, described the rescue as "such a relief".

The lifeboat was guided towards towards the location of the raft in Totland Bay by coastguard officers on the shoreline.

The Solent coastguard helicopter also joined in the search.

Mr Hubbard and his mate, Karl Scrivens, 49, were taken to St Mary's Hospital in Newport for medical checks.

He described how the fishing vessel had capsized two hours earlier while he was still in a sleeping bag in his bunk.

'Longest two hours'

Mr Hubbard said: "I gather there was some weight on the port side and the weather and the tide just turned us over.

"Karl shouted 'get out bed'. As I did I was pinned against the floor, which was the wall, and the opposite wall was the floor."

"I struggled to get the door open under water, but thank goodness on the third attempt I got it open. I had to get my bearings but I made it up to the surface and shouted to Karl.

Image caption The two men were rescued by the RNLI after more than two hours in a life raft

"He was underneath the life raft so together we righted it and realised the situation we were in. The life raft was still tied to the boat so we had to cut that free because we were worried we might go down with her."

He said there was no time to grab any clothes or a radio but they managed to get hold of three distress flares, which they used to attract attention.

"I was freezing cold in just my shorts and those were the longest two hours of my life. When I saw the lifeboat coming towards us it was such a relief. I just thought 'brilliant - we're saved'."

RNLI coxswain Howard Lester added: "This sounds like it was very frightening for the two men involved, as it all happened so quickly.

"Fortunately, they were carrying the flares otherwise they may have drifted in the life raft for a lot longer before being seen."

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