Woman 'dragged under Portsmouth to Isle of Wight hovercraft ferry while taking picture' sparking major rescue operation

A WOMAN was dragged under the Portsmouth to Isle of Wight hovercraft ferry earlier today, sparking a major rescue operation.

It is thought the woman was trying to take a picture while standing in front of the hovercraft as it headed into Clearance Pier.


It's believed she was dragged under before she was ejected out of the rear of the craft as staff onboard desperate attempted to carry out an emergency shut down.

The woman was unconscious when she was pulled from the water and CPR was administered, according to South Central Ambulance Service.

They said: "After initial treatment the patient was then taken to the Queen Alexandra Hospital where she was handed over to colleagues in the emergency department in a life-threatening condition."

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 spokesperson for the Maritime & Coastguard Agency said: “At around 4.30pm on Saturday 24 April, HM Coastguard received multiple 999 calls about an incident near the hovercraft slipway in Southsea, Portsmouth.

“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.”

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