Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Sea rescue for Southampton Water sinking fishermen

Fisherman rescue Image copyright Phil Williams
Image caption One of the men was winched on to the coastguard helicopter

Two elderly men have been rescued from the sea near Southampton after their fishing boat sank.

The crew of a passing yacht issued a mayday at 10:20 BST when they plucked the pair from the water off Calshot.

One was winched off by the coastguard helicopter and taken to hospital in Southampton.

The RNLI said the men, in their 70s, had spent an hour in the water with no safety gear, having failed to retrieve life jackets from their sinking boat.

Image copyright Hillhead Coastguard
Image caption One of the casualties was taken to a waiting ambulance at Warsash

The second man was taken to Warsash by the Calshot RNLI lifeboat and transferred to hospital by ambulance, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency confirmed.

RNLI helmsman Mark Weatherhead said: "It's 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," he added,

Their conditions are not known.

Image copyright Phil williams
Image caption The Calshot RNLI lifeboat was launched following the mayday call

The two men were rescued close to the Calshot Cardinal Marker in Southampton Water by the Round Britain Experience training yacht.

Based in Brixham in Devon, it was on the last leg of a three-month circumnavigation of Great Britain with a skipper and three trainee sailors on board.

Spokesman Duncan Bridgenall said the trainees had put their "intensive training in sea safety" into practice during the rescue.

The men's boat appeared to have "sunk beneath them" and they were suffering from hypothermia, he said.

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