A man has been rescued after he abandoned a boat which suffered multiple explosions during a fire.
He had tried fighting the blaze, but abandoned the ‘Margaret Rose’ six miles off Littlehampton when it become engulfed with flames.
The skipper called 999 and Solent Coastguard coordinated a rescue operation to recover him from his life-raft around
The Coastguard search and rescue helicopter from Lee-on-Solent was deployed, along with RNLI lifeboats from Shoreham and Littlehampton. Littlehampton Coastguard Rescue Team were also on standby.
The man was recovered by the Littlehampton RNLI lifeboat and returned safely to shore. He didn’t sustain any injuries.
Shoreham RNLI lifeboat remains on scene to monitor the boat, which is still on fire.
Jenna Smith, Watch Officer for Solent Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre, said: “This was a very dangerous situation and required a swift response.
“The boat was well alight and very hazardous, as it is carrying around 150 litres of diesel and two gas canisters.
“We continue to monitor the situation and have advised boats to stay away from the immediate vicinity of the incident.”
There are no reports of any pollution.
The Margaret Rose has now sunk.