The alarm was first raised by lifeboat mechanic and crew member Mark Harker while using the station’s binoculars to carry out a precautionary search of the Solent, being swept by a Force 6 south-westerly. The white-coloured RIB was picked out in the Stanswood Bay area, west of Calshot.
After lifeboat colleagues also reported seeing no-one aboard the RIB, the station informed the National Maritime Operations Centre that it intended to launch.
The lifeboat duly set off across the Solent at 12:44 and eventually the crew discovered there were in fact two men aboard the RIB; happily fishing but well-hunkered down in the craft because of the wind.
The lifeboat returned to station.