Cowes RNLI and Coastguard Rescue 104 helicopter from Lee-on-Solent were tasked at around 17:00 after Solent Coastguard were alerted to an incident unfolding off Osborne Bay by Mayday call.
One casualty has been airlifted by Coastguard helicopter to St Mary’s in Newport and is receiving emergency treatment. The extent of his injuries is currently unknown, however the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance was deployed to the scene.
Hampshire Constabulary’s Marine Unit and Gosport Lifeboat have also been involved in the rescue operation.
UPDATE @ 18:35 – The Needles Coastguard Rescue Team and Police are in attendance at The Parade, Cowes, however Gosport Lifeboat has returned to station.
The specific details of how the incident occurred or the injuries sustained are currently unclear, however Island Echo understands at least two other casualties have been taken to St Mary’s Hospital by land ambulance after being transferred to Trinity Landing.
Hampshire Constabulary have had significant involvement in the operation. The Maritime Accident Investigation Board have been informed.
UPDATE @ 22:17 – In a statement issued tonight, Cowes RNLI have confirmed that a seriously injured young man has been airlifted to St Mary’s Hospital and that another person was taken by ambulance to the hospital after being landed at Cowes by Gosport Lifeboat.
It has also been confirmed that a second vessel was present at the incident, a water-based RIB, which was later towed into Cowes. Neither the Maritime Coastguard Agency, RNLI or Police have commented on how the injuries were sustained or any more specific details of the incident such as to whether a collision occurred or not.
A spokesperson said:
“It is believed that there were originally a dozen or so people on the motor yacht. After the incident the majority were taken ashore by the Cowes and Gosport lifeboats and HM1 [the harbour master’s vessel]. Cowes lifeboat also towed into Cowes a water-jet powered RIB from the scene. Later the remaining few people left on the motor-yacht brought the vessel into Cowes, escorted by a police launch.
Some of the motor-yacht’s occupants were taken to the lifeboat station to help recover from the incident, although several then decided to travel on to the hospital”.
Newport Coastguard Incident Response Team have confirmed they were tasked to St Mary’s Hospital to assist with the patient landing. A spokesperson said:
“With the summer months coming there will be increased coastal activity – in an emergency dial 999 and ask for the coastguard or for VHF users contact Solent Coastguard on Channel 16”
UPDATE SATURDAY: This article has been superseded following the death of the young male airlifted to hospital – http://www.islandecho.co.uk/news/man-dies-after-rib-drama-off-the-isle-of-wight