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Tragedy as woman, 59, dies after being pulled from water near hovercraft slipway

A 59-year-old woman has died after being pulled from the water near a hovercraft slipway in Southsea, Portsmouth.

She was pulled from the water while unconscious in Clarence Pier, Portsmouth, on Saturday afternoon.

The woman was rushed to hospital in a critical condition, but later died.

It was previously reported that she was pulled under the water by a hovercraft whilst taking a selfie, however police have now clarified that the vehicle was not involved.

A spokesman for Hampshire Police said: “We were called shortly after 5.45pm on Saturday 24 April to a report that a woman was unconscious in the water on Clarence Esplanade, Southsea.

Earlier reports said the woman was dragged under the water by a hovercraft, however police have confirmed the vehicle was not involved

Tragedy as woman, 59, dies after being pulled from water near hovercraft slipway

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“Officers attended and a 59-year-old woman was taken to Queen Alexandra Hospital.

“Despite best efforts, she was sadly pronounced dead on Saturday evening.

“Next of Kin have been informed and are being supported by officers.

“Officers do not believe the Hovercraft to have been involved in any way at this time.

The woman was rushed to Queen Alexandra Hospital but could not be saved
The woman was rushed to Queen Alexandra Hospital but could not be saved

“The death is not being treated as suspicious and a file shall be prepared for the coroner.”

The coastguard previously said the incident happened at about 5.30pm and that the woman was in her 40s.

She was unconscious when she was rescued from the sea by the Gosport and Fareham Inshore Rescue Service (Gafirs).

After being brought ashore at Old Portsmouth she was rushed to hospital by ambulance in a life-threatening condition.

Police officers attended the scene although the woman's death is not being treated as suspicious
Police officers attended the scene although the woman’s death is not being treated as suspicious

A Coastguard spokeswoman said: “HM Coastguard received multiple 999 calls about an incident near the hovercraft slipway in Southsea, Portsmouth.

“Portsmouth coastguard rescue team, Gosport independent lifeboat and the search and rescue helicopter from Lee-on-Solent were sent, in addition to MoD Police vessels from Portsmouth Harbour and the South Central Ambulance Service.

“A woman was pulled from the water and passed into the care of the ambulance service.

“The Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) and Hampshire Constabulary have been informed.”

Hovertravel operates regular services between Southsea and Ryde on the Isle of Wight.

A spokesman for the firm said: “We can confirm that Solent Flyer was not involved with the incident involving a body in water but the crew were alerted.

“As Solent Flyer landed at Southsea this afternoon, the ground team alerted the pilot about a body in the water, as per Hovertravel’s normal safety procedure.

“The pilot landed safely and the service is operating as normal.

“The person has subsequently been recovered by the emergency services and the police are dealing with the matter.”


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