Woman rescued from sea near Southsea dies - Hovercraft not to blame

The hovercraft was coming in to land at Southsea when the woman was spotted

Police say a woman who was pulled from the sea near the hovercraft port at Southsea has sadly died.

The 59 year old woman was spotted unconscious in the water on Saturday afternoon, and rescued by the inshore lifeboat.

Hampshire Police say despite the efforts of medics, she died at Queen Alexandra Hospital. Her relatives have been informed.

They added that her death is not being treated as suspicious.

Paramedics were called to Southsea on Saturday evening

The incident happened near to the Hovertravel slipway at Clarence Pier at about 5.30pm on Saturday, according to the Coastguard.

A Hovertravel spokesman said: “We can confirm that Solent Flyer was not involved with the incident involving a body in the water but the crew were alerted.

“As Solent Flyer landed at Southsea this afternoon, the ground team alerted the pilot about a body in the water, as per Hovertravel’s normal safety procedure.

“The pilot landed safely and the service is operating as normal. The person has subsequently been recovered by the emergency services and the police are dealing with the matter.”

The woman was rescued from the sea by the Gosport and Fareham Inshore Rescue Service (Gafirs) before she was brought ashore at Old Portsmouth.

A Coastguard spokeswoman said: “HM Coastguard received multiple 999 calls about an incident near the hovercraft slipway in Southsea, Portsmouth.

“Portsmouth coastguard rescue team, Gosport independent lifeboat and the search and rescue helicopter from Lee-on-Solent were sent, in addition to MoD Police vessels from Portsmouth Harbour and the South Central Ambulance Service.

“A woman was pulled from the water and passed into the care of the ambulance service.

“The Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) and Hampshire Constabulary have been informed.”

A spokesman for Gafirs, an independent lifeboat service, said: “We were alerted at 5.30pm, launched within six minutes and on the scene within four minutes.

“We recovered the casualty, brought her into Camber Dock in Old Portsmouth and handed her over to the ambulance service.”

Hovertravel operates regular services between Southsea and Ryde on the Isle of Wight.