TWO CREWMEN of a powerboat had a lucky escape after their vessel was sunk by a freak wave off the coast of Portland.

Silverline A47, an 1860 horsepower boat taking part in the Cowes Classic 2016 race, lost transmission near Portland Bill yesterday.

Having stalled, it was struck by a freak wave and began to sink.

The crew, a British man from Topsham in Devon and an Italian, jumped overboard and were picked up by the race's safety boat.

The RNLI all-weather lifeboat arrived on the scene in less than ten minutes to find it bow up in the water. 

The RNLI crew tried to save the powerboat by attaching a tow line. 

After several attempts, the lifeboat was stood down by Solent Coastguard as it was deemed too dangerous.

A spokesman for the race, which starts in Cowes on the Isle of Wight and covers 200 miles to finish in Torquay, said: "The driver has arranged for a commercial salvage.

"The hull is going to be retrievable but the rest might as well be put in the recycling.

"The last time this happened at the Cowes to Torquay was in 2009. 

"In terms of damage, they're probably looking at around £500,000."

Click here for a video caught by Stuart Morris moments before Silverline began to sink. The powerboat appears at 2:38.