Updated 9.40pm 

A man involved in the rescue of three men after their speedboat capsized off Gozo on Sunday has described how two boats arrived on the scene in the nick of time.

Jesmond Ciantar, from St Julian’s, said he was in a dinghy with his wife off Xlendi cliffs at about 5pm when he spotted the white overturned hull of a speedboat and somebody waving near it.

Another nearby dinghy, carrying a number of Gozitans also spotted the capsized boat.

Both sped to the scene and found three men in the water. One was unconscious and slipped below the surface before being pulled up again by one of his friends. The two were hauled onto the Gozitan dinghy while Mr Ciantar said he pulled the other man onto his own boat.

All three men showed signs of injury, particularly the unconscious man who had a head wound.

Since the other dinghy was overcrowded, some of its passengers jumped onto Mr Ciantar's boat. The two boats then headed for Xlendi from where the men were transferred to hospital.

“The unconscious man was starting to come around as we arrived, he was muttering ħalluni, ħalluni (leave me alone),” Mr Ciantar said.

He praised the injured man’s friend, who despite his own injuries, managed to help him stay afloat.

Mr Ciantar said he did not know what caused the speedboat to capsize especially since the sea was calm at the time.

The police said the three men, all aged 29, were from Xewkija, Luqa and Siggiewi.

The most seriously injured, the man from Xewkija, was said to be in grievous condition. 

All three men are being treated at Gozo Hospital.

Magistrate Paul Coppini is holding an inquiry.  

Boats collide off St Paul's Bay

In a separate incident, a man and a woman, both 58 from Swieqi, were injured in a collision between a small boat and a cabin cruiser near St Paul's Islands.

The incident happened at about 6.30pm.

They were rescued by an AFM launch. The police said the 58-year-old man was seriously injured while the woman was slightly injured. 

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