A MAN who fell from a cruise ship and gouged his leg open on a propeller has been airlifted to hospital.

A crew member from the Marella Discovery 2 has plunged into the Solent.

His leg was cut open and reportedly required surgery after he fell from a boat which was servicing the cruise ship.

Wearing a lifejacket he was pulled from the water and back onto the ship.

He remained conscious however went into shock following the incident at around 3pm on Thursday.

Meanwhile, a rescue helicopter was launched over the Solent to rush the crewman to Southampton General Hospital.

A spokesperson for the Maritime and Coastguard Agency said: "HM Coastguard received a call from a vessel in the Solent at 15:10 this afternoon (May 7) after a crew member fell overboard and suffered injuries.

"The crewmember was wearing a lifejacket and was able to be brought back onto the vessel.

"Hillhead Coastguard Rescue Team and HM Coastguard search and rescue helicopter from Lee on Solent were sent.

"The casualty was taken to Southampton General Hospital by the helicopter."

Catering for 1,830 passengers the Marella Discover 2 is operated by the TUI Group.

With 761 crew members, it has 11 decks.

A TUI UK spokesperson said: "We can confirm that during a routine operation using one of Marella Discovery 2’s tender boats, a crew member was injured and was airlifted to Southampton General Hospital for medical care.

"We are continuing to support the crew member, and would like to thank the emergency services for their support.

"Incidents like these are very rare, and the safety and wellbeing of our crew remains our absolute highest priority."