Cowes RNLI lifeboat took part in one of the most comprehensive searches of the Solent for some years, after an unmanned jet-ski was spotted adrift off Lee- on-Solent yesterday evening.
At various times the search involved five lifeboats – both RNLI and independent – six coastguard teams, two police launches, a helicopter and a fixed wing aircraft.
Coastguards were first alerted to the unmanned jet-ski by a passing tanker. After the jet-ski was recovered and examined there were definite clues that the driver had been separated from the machine while afloat.
Although many searchers combed long stretches of the Solent and its coastline with powerful lights through the night, Cowes lifeboat was only called upon to support the operation this morning. Having launched at 8.49 am, it finally returned to station just after mid-day, when there were still no reports that the missing man had been found.