A fisherman who went overboard off the coast of Salcombe over the weekend has been rescued by the HM Coastguard Newquay helicopter (scroll down for video) after being in very rough and extremely cold seas for an hour.
HM Coastguard was coordinating the large scale search and rescue mission for the missing fisherman who went overboard 25nm
The fishing vessel made a Mayday broadcast at around 4.45am and the HM search and rescue helicopter based at Newquay quickly made their way sent to the scene, alongside Salcombe and Torbay RNLI All Weather Lifeboats.
A French Navy aircraft who has been training in the area at the time and a number of fishing vessels responded to a Mayday Relay broadcast issued by HM Coastguard and also joined the search.
Mayday is the word used around the world to make a distress call via radio communications. Mayday signals a life-threatening emergency, usually on a ship or a plane, although it may be used in a variety of other situations.
The fisherman was located by his own crewmates at 5.45am and the Newquay Coastguard helicopter was alerted to his position and winched him from the frigid water.
According to the Coastguard, the Fisherman had been in the water for an hour in 3-4m seas and 9 degrees sea temperature.
In reality, the chances of being found once falling overboard at night in heavy seas are extremely slim.
The Newquay Coastguard helicopter flew him directly to Plymouth Hospital.
HM Coastguard Duty Controller Dai Jones said:
‘We could not have hoped for a better outcome.
‘Our own Coastguard helicopter, A French Navy helicopter, along with a number of fishing vessels and the RNLI, had been searching for an hour this morning in very rough seas and challenging weather conditions.
‘Thankfully, the fisherman was wearing a lifejacket, which no doubt aided his survival and enabled his crewmates to find him quickly.
‘By taking this simple safety precaution means that when he fell into the water his survival time increased significantly, despite the cold water and the horrendous weather conditions.
‘This could have been a very different outcome today had he not been wearing his lifejacket and we commend his actions, which have assisted in saving his life. We wish him a speedy recovery.’
Speaking after the dramatic rescue, Captain Jörg Brunner from HM Coastguard Newquay helicopter said:
‘This is an incredible rescue story.
‘We got the call to help just 5 minutes after
‘The fishing crew had done all the right things and even from a distance we quickly spotted the smoke marker and the life ring they had released.
‘The fisherman was spotted by his crew about 40m on the starboard side of his fishing vessel, some 400m away from smoke marker position.
‘We flew towards that position and saw the casualty immediately as he was wearing a reflective life jacket.
‘We lowered our winchman into the water in very rough conditions and conducted a double winch recovery which only took about 2 minutes.
‘Once on board we flew straight to Derriford Hospital and handed him over to A&E department, where we have now heard that he’s doing well and in good spirits.’
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