A large search in the central Solent was sparked after the UK Coastguard received a 999 call from a 16ft speedboat.

The boat which had five people on board, had suffered engine failure and was taking in water on Saturday, 2 August.

An MCA spokesman said : ‘No-one onboard was able to provide a clear position, which was partly a result of having no positioning equipment or navigational aids.’

Independent lifeboats from Gosport, Hamble and Ryde, along with the Portsmouth RNLI lifeboat conducted a search through the central Solent. The Coastguard Rescue Helicopter based at Lee on Solent began an initial search and was spotted by the powerboat, which meant its location could then be determined.

A spokesman for Gosport and Fareham Inshore Rescue Service said the broken down boat was initially reported as near the forts but was eventually located near South Brambles by Hamble Lifeboat:

‘Gosport Lifeboat then carried out a formation winch with Coastguard Helicopter 104 to transfer a paramedic to check casualties out and then again to transfer paramedic back to helicopter.

‘Hamble Lifeboat took the casualties onboard and then Gosport Lifeboat towed vessel to Lee on the Solent slipway.’

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Steve Mann, senior maritime operations officer, said, ‘If you’re going out to sea, make sure you’re properly prepared and that you have some way of being located if you get into difficulty.

‘VHF DSC sets are readily available. When you use them, we can then pinpoint your location and get to you more quickly.’