Harbour search after boat capsizes

Two people rescued and search under way for third person believed to be missing in the water in Poole harbour

An air and sea search is under way for a person believed to be missing in the water after a boat capsized.

The coastguard said the alarm was raised after two people were found holding on to the side of an overturned boat in Poole harbour, Dorset on Sunday morning. The men were rescued by helicopter and taken to Poole hospital.

Lifeboats and coastguard helicopters are searching for a third person believed to have been on board.

A spokesman for the coastguard said: "We are in the middle of a major incident. Two people have been recovered from the water in Poole harbour by coastguard rescue helicopter and transferred to hospital. An intensive search is ongoing for a third person believed to be missing in the water after a small boat capsized this morning."

The boat capsized near Brownsea Island and members of the public on the shore dialled 999. Dom Fraser, of the North Haven yacht club at Sandbanks, told the Bournemouth Echo he understood the three people had been in a dinghy.

He said: "Around 10.45 I heard people shouting for help. I was about to row over but then the helicopter arrived. The water is quite shallow where it happened, to the point where you can stand up."

Volunteers are searching the shoreline and a number of private boats are believed to be helping the coastguard. The coastguard spokesman added: "Portland coastguard received 999 calls shortly before 11am reporting that there were people in the water from a small capsized boat in the Whitley Lake area just inside the harbour entrance. Both coastguard rescue helicopters were on exercise nearby and were on scene quickly.

"RNLI lifeboats from Poole and Swanage are searching inside and outside the harbour and Swanage and Poole coastguard rescue teams are searching the shoreline. A coastguard rescue helicopter also remains on scene searching."