Safety Concerns over Woman Sparks Major Solent Search

Lifeboats News Release

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.

Cowes RNLI lifeboat arrives off the Fishbourne terminal to begin its Solent search.

Cowes RNLI

Cowes RNLI lifeboat arrives off the Fishbourne terminal to begin its Solent search.

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.

RNLI media contact

  • George Chastney, Cowes RNLI Volunteer Press Officer 07530 254052/
  • Paul Dunt, RNLI Media Regional Officer (London/East/South East) 0207 6207426/ 07785 296252/
  • For enquiries outside normal business hours, contact the RNLI duty press officer on 01202 336789

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