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Dramatic rescue of crew from capsized Solent tug

Dramatic rescue of crew from capsized Solent tug
The UK coastguard has rescued the crew of tug Asterix after it capsized and sank in high winds in the Solent, at ExxonMobil’s Fawley refinery.

After one crewman was recovered from the water, the Coastguard coordinated a search of the area for a second crew member involving RNLI lifeboats from Lymington, Calshot and Cowes, as well as Coastguard Rescue Teams from Southampton and Lymington and Southampton Port patrol vessel.

Attending doctor William King described an unnamed employee of Solent Towage “the hero of the night” after the man jumped onto the capsized tug and smashed a window to rescue a colleague trapped in the wheelhouse.

“Shortly afterwards the tug sank,” said King. “He certainly saved this guy's life.”

All three men were subsequently taken to hospital, with one crewman being treated for hypothermia.

An ExxonMobil spokesman told reporters: "We can confirm that at approximately 20:10 hours on Monday 30th March, our onsite resources together with the emergency services, responded to an incident involving a small shipping support vessel in Southampton Water. All persons have been accounted for.

“There was no impact to the local community.  Refinery operations continue as normal."

Following the incident the Maritime & Coastguard Agency said: "The vessel which is a commercial tug, remains capsized and sunk and weather conditions on scene tonight are strong winds and poor visibility."

It is the second major incident in the Solent this year, following the the beaching of car carrier Höegh Osaka in January.