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Customs rescue man during high-speed chase at sea

Archive image of Eastern Beach by Eyleen Gomez

A man was rescued at sea by Customs officers after he fell off a suspicious speedboat during a high-speed pursuit off Eastern Beach on Sunday night.

The man, who was subsequently arrested, was one of three occupants on a small rigid-hulled inflatable boat of the type commonly used to smuggle tobacco.

The incident, which took place just after midnight, was initiated after the patrolling HMC Seeker sighted the suspect vessel “heading south at speed without displaying the navigation lights”.

The boat had three occupants and was carrying boxes wrapped in black plastic bags.

The small boat began carrying out evasive manoeuvres, during which one of its occupants fell into the sea.

The Customs crew aborted the chase and moved to rescue the man, who was also later arrested.

The remaining occupants managed to escape.

HM Customs said an investigation into the incident is still ongoing.