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Major rescue after woman is dragged under the Portsmouth to Isle of Wight Hovercraft in Southsea

A major joint rescue operation involving the UK Coastguard, Military Police, a coastguard rescue helicopter,  Gosport and Fareham independent inshore lifeboat has launched in Portsmouth this afternoon( Saturday 24th April 2021). 

The rescue operation was sparked after it is understood that the woman was dragged under the hovercraft after stepping in front of the incoming craft we can reveal in the busy waters of the Solent near to Clarence Pier around 5.30pm.

The woman who is understood to have been trying to capture a picture stood in front of the hovercraft that was in-service and inbound to Clearance pier she was dragged under and her body was then ejected out of the rear of the craft as staff onboard desperate attempted to carry out an emergency shut down and made emergency calls to the coastguard.


Officers from Hampshire Police have cordoned off the part of the Southsea site and an investigation has been launched by Police on behalf of the Health and safety executive.

Portsmouth and Lee on Solent Coastguard were scrambled along with lifeguards to rescue the woman and Coastguard Search and Rescue Helicopter also scrambled to assist with the rescue operation after the woman lifeless body was seen floating at the rear of the craft into the sea.


The female who is understood to have been unconscious was dragged from the sea by a GAFIS lifeboat crew and those onboard started to carry cycles of CPR.


Police have cordoned off a large area from Seager Court to Broad Street to Spice Island near the Sir Ben Ainsley racing yard.


Specialist Paramedics from South Central HART team have also been scrambled to the scene.

Hampshire Police have been approached for comment