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Last Updated: Sunday, 18 May, 2003, 09:38 GMT 10:38 UK
Stricken sailors saved by text
Coastguard helicopter
The coastguard helicopter winched the group to safety
Three men have been rescued from their upturned boat thanks to a text message.

The group were sailing off the coast of the Isle of Wight on Saturday evening when the tri-maran called Shockwave overturned.

One of the men tried to call the coastguard via 999 but the signal gave out.

He then sent a text message to his father at his home in Totton, Southampton, who alerted the coastguard.

Text rescues

A coastguard rescue helicopter and a lifeboat were scrambled to the scene, at about 1700 BST on Saturday.

They located the three men and winched them from the hull of the vessel. No one was injured.

Colin Griffiths, Solent Coastguard watch manager, said: "This incident adds to the number of times the coastguard has been alerted to a marine incident via text message.

"We understand that texting can be sent to much longer distances than a voice call, however our recommendation is always to try and communicate to the rescue authorities via a handheld VHF radio if at all possible."

It was the first time Shockwave had been taken out to sea.



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