TWO men tangled in the kite straps of their kayak were rescued after being pulled aboard a Red Funnel boat in the Thorn Channel.

The Red Funnel's "Red Eagle" was travelling through the Thorn Channel near Calshot at around 9.30am yesterday morning, when a member of the crew spotted a kayak, with one person on board and another struggling in the water.

After alerting the relevant authorities, the Red Eagle crew stopped the vessel in the middle of the channel and a rescue lifeboat was launched, which recovered the two men who were described to be "exhausted".

The rescue operation only lasted around 25 minutes and then passengers were back on route to East Cowes.

Chris Sibley, Risk, Safety and Compliance Director at Red Funnel, is "extremely proud" of the crew's quick thinking and he has sent his well wishes to the men recovered from the kayak.

He said: "Red Eagle was involved in a rescue operation during its 9am Southampton to East Cowes sailing this morning (23 May 2020). Whilst passing through the Thorn Channel near Calshot, Southampton, at 9.39am a member of the crew identified a kayak via the lookout, along with another person in the water.

"After alerting Southampton Vessel Traffic Service and the Solent Coast Guard, Red Eagle was manoeuvred into a suitable position and the rescue boat was launched, which recovered two men; one from the kayak and one from the water, who was tangled in kite straps.

“The two men were recovered at 10am and brought aboard Red Eagle, along with their equipment, which continued its onward journey to East Cowes. The two men were exhausted but, luckily, did not appear to have any physical injuries. Due to the swift actions of our crew, there was a short delay of 25 minutes to the sailing. It was an incredible team effort by all involved.

“I am extremely proud of Red Eagle’s team for their quick thinking and efforts in this morning’s rescue operation. We also send our well wishes to the men recovered.”

John Exley was passing by at the time and saw the Red Eagle stop in the middle of the channel, in what he described to be "very windy conditions".

He said: "It was quite strange to see, they never normally stop so I knew something was wrong. The kayak was in the water in very windy conditions, and when they saw it, they launched the lifeboat and winched them on board."