Safety Concerns over Woman Sparks Major Solent Search
A full-scale air, sea and shore search was mounted in challenging wintry conditions at lunch-time today (Tuesday 9 February) over fears that a 30 year old woman might have disappeared overboard from a car ferry.
After reports that although the woman bought a ticket at Wightlink’s Fishbourne car ferry terminal it was believed she was not among the passengers who disembarked at Portsmouth.
Cowes RNLI lifeboat was launched just after 2 pm to take part in an extensive search of the Solent, where the choppy sea was whipped up by a strong and bitterly cold easterly wind.
Also involved in the search were Ryde and Gosport independent lifeboats, Portsmouth lifeboat and the Lee on Solent coastguard helicopter. Meanwhile coastguard teams from Bembridge, Ventnor and Portsmouth were tasked to investigate the relevant shorelines.
Eventually the search was called off after police concluded that, contrary to what was first believed, she had after all disembarked at Portsmouth.
Cowes lifeboat returned to station just before 4 pm.
Caption to photo: Cowes RNLI lifeboat arrives off the Fishbourne terminal to begin its Solent search.
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The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates over 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and, in a normal year, more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.