'Lucky escape': harbourmaster

Three yachtsmen, none wearing lifejackets, had a lucky escape when their tender capsized in the Hamble. The two younger men swam for the midstream pontoon but the third sailor was older and not strong enough to follow them. He returned to the upturned tender and held on until rescued.

A harbour patrol boat rescued the three and a paramedic and an ambulance crew checked them over before they were sent home.

It was dark and very cold and all three men were wearing heavy waterproof clothing and sailing boots. The tender was small at about three metres with a very low freeboard.

A recent review of drowning incidents by a panel of UK experts found that lives might have been saved in 69% of incidents had the person been wearing a suitable lifejacket or personal floatation device.

The harbourmaster said they had a lucky escape.