Woman winched to safety after falling off Isle of Wight pleasure cruise

A coastguard helicopter (Adam Davy/PA) (PA Archive)
A coastguard helicopter (Adam Davy/PA) (PA Archive)

A woman who fell overboard from a pleasure cruise was stuck in the water for more than two hours before being rescued by helicopter off the coast of the Isle of Wight.

A huge search using helicopters and rescue boats was launched when the woman vanished into the English Channel, south of Ventnor at around 1.45pm.

The woman was finally located around 6 miles South of St Catherine’s Point and she was winched to safety by a HM Coastguard helicopter at around 4pm.

The Island Echo reported that she has been conveyed directly to St Mary’s Hospital by helicopter, where she is receiving medical attention.

The search included Coastguard Rescue 163 from Lydd in Kent which has a fixed-wing aircraft. There were three lifeboats, two helicopters and one plane looking for the woman.

All of the search and rescue efforts have been halted.

Ventnor Bay (Google)
Ventnor Bay (Google)

HM Coastguard said: “A woman reported to have gone overboard from a pleasure vessel south of Ventnor, Isle of Wight, was rescued from the water in an operation coordinated by HM Coastguard.

“The alarm was raised at about 1.45pm on 23 May. Two HM Coastguard search and rescue helicopters and a fixed-wing aircraft were sent as well as the RNLI’s all-weather lifeboats from Bembridge and Yarmouth, and Sandown and Shanklin Independent Lifeboat. Two nearby vessels also supported the search.

“The woman was winched safely out of the water by an HM Coastguard helicopter at about 4pm. She was flown to St Mary’s Hospital, Newport, for a check-up.”

A spokesperson for the RNLI told The Mirror: “RNLI were tasked by HM Coastguard at 12.43pm to a person in the water south of the Isle of Wight. Bembridge and Yarmouth crews were tasked.

“The person has been located and assets have been stood down.”

Ventnor is on the Isle of Wight’s southern coast, about 12 miles from the ferries at Ryde. It benefits from its own micro-climate, sheltered from any icy northern blasts by the National Trust-owned St Boniface Downs. These hills, at around 800ft, tower over the town.

In the early 19th century, Ventnor was mostly thatched fishermen’s shacks, but in the 1830s it gained a reputation for the healing qualities of its climate and waters sparking rapid development at the holiday hotspot.