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UPDATED: The Needles Coastguard Rescue Team and Yarmouth RNLI lifeboat are investigating reports of boat wreckage being washed ashore at Scratchells Bay in the West Wight this afternoon (Friday).

Watchkeepers at The Needles National Coastwatch Station reported the sighting to Solent Coastguard sometime around 14:30, prompting the tasking of the local Coastguard Rescue Team (CRT) and Yarmouth Lifeboat.

Coastguard Officers are now on scene on the south side of at the most westerly point of the Isle of Wight and are conducting investigations.

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Yarmouth’s All Weather Lifeboat, which was tasked to launch at 14:42, is currently holding off the famous Needles Lighthouse.

UPDATE @ 15:27 – Mudeford RNLI have been tasked to join the ongoing incident. The Atlantic-class lifeboat has crossed the Western Solent and is now on scene.

The sea state is said to be rough in the area, with winds blowing at over 50knts.

It’s understood debris has also been seen floating in the vicinity.

UPDATE @ 17:20 – Ventnor Coastguard Rescue Team have joined their colleagues from The Needles CRT at the top of the cliffs.

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2 Coastguard Rescue Officers (CROs) have been lowered over the edge of Tennyson Down to investigate the wreckage at close quarters.

Coastguard Rescue 175 helicopter from Lee-on-Solent is now on scene and is conducting an aerial search of the area.

Lymington RNLI are also said to be involved in the incident, bringing the number of resources to 2 CRTs, 3 lifeboats and a Rescue Helicopter.

UPDATE @ 17:51 – HM Coastguard is appealing for information about the owner of a small blue vessel following the discovery of debris.

Mat McInally Duty Controller for HM Coastguard said:
”We have reported the debris findings to Hampshire Police and they have told us they have had no reports of anyone missing.
“We are appealing to the owner of the vessel to come forward or to anyone that might have any information about a blue vessel in this area to contact the Coastguard on 999 – so we can eliminate that anyone is in trouble at sea”.
Pan Pan and Mayday relay broadcasts have been made to all vessels in the area to keep a sharp lookout for further debris or someone in distress.
The incidnet is ongoing.
More to follow

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