'Incredibly lucky' man rescued from capsized boat by Ilfracombe RNLI

North Devon Gazette

As weather conditions were deteriorating on the afternoon of Monday, February 7, two women ashore heard a whistle being blown repeatedly off Windy Corner, Capstone, and could see an upturned boat with a person in the water.Â

A 999 call was made and Ilfracombe RNLI were paged by the Coastguard at 1.35pm. Within minutes, crew members Leigh, Stuart and Sophie were in the D-Class inshore lifeboat and on their way to the reported location.Â

On scene a male casualty was pulled out of the water and into the lifeboat. He was very cold after being in the water, and was taken straight back to the lifeboat station for casualty care treatment by volunteer crew Dave, Rob and others. He was taken to hospital by ambulance for further care.Â

Volunteer crew went back out to the scene to retrieve the casualty's boat and tow it back to the harbour.

Station Mechanic, Leigh Hanks reflects: “The man was incredibly lucky. He had entered the water unexpectedly and was suffering from the effects of the water temperature which is very cold at this time of year.Â

“Fortunately, he was spotted from the shore and the alarm was raised swiftly and we were able to get him out of the water and start warming up his body temperature. It’s important to remember the water is incredibly cold at this time of year so if you’re on the water, be as prepared as possible with appropriate clothing and means of calling for help should something go wrong.Â

“The man came back to the lifeboat station the following day to say thank you, it was great to see him better and back on his feet.”