Woman dies after being pulled from water next to hovercraft terminal

25 April 2021, 12:11

The woman was found near the hovercraft port in Southsea, and Hovertravel said its Solent Flyer hovercraft was alerted
The woman was found near the hovercraft port in Southsea, and Hovertravel said its Solent Flyer hovercraft was alerted. Picture: PA

By Kate Buck

A woman has died after being pulled unconscious from the sea close to a hovercraft terminal.

A passenger hovercraft was alerted to the presence of the woman in the water off Southsea, Hampshire, at 5.30pm on Saturday but was not involved in the incident, according to police.

The 59-year-old was recovered from the water by the Gosport and Fareham Inshore Rescue Service (Gafirs) and taken to hospital, where she later died.

A Hampshire Police spokesman said: "We were called shortly after 5.45pm on Saturday 24 April to a report that a woman was unconscious in the water on Clarence Esplanade, Southsea.

"Officers attended and a 59-year-old woman was taken to Queen Alexandra Hospital. Despite best efforts, she was sadly pronounced dead on Saturday evening.

"Next of kin have been informed and are being supported by officers.

"Officers do not believe the hovercraft to have been involved in any way at this time.

"The death is not being treated as suspicious and a file shall be prepared for the coroner."

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."

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

A spokesman for the firm said: "We can confirm that Solent Flyer was not involved with the incident involving a body in 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."