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A French yachtsman injured on the choppy and rain-swept Solent led to the launching of Cowes RNLI lifeboat late this morning (Saturday).

The alarm was raised by the French crew of the 38ft Canberra Star shortly before midday, reporting that a member had injured his back when the boat was in the Osborne Bay area.

The yacht duly made its way to Trinity Landing, off Cowes Parade, where it was quickly joined by the lifeboat.

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Members of the lifeboat crew went aboard to carry out a full assessment of the injured man, who was found to be wedged in the cockpit.

Crewman and other volunteers from Cowes RNLI, paramedics from the Isle of Wight Ambulance Service and Cowes Harbour staff worked to extract the injured yachtsman, who had apparently fallen in the galley and was going in and out of consciousness.

The man, thought to be in his early 40s, was eventually lifted on to a stretcher and carried to a waiting ambulance, which took him to St Mary’s Hospital in Newport.

The Canberra Star was on charter from Gosport.

The lifeboat returned to station just after 13:00.

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