Chivenor helicopter called to Somerset rescue

The 22 Squadron Seaking helicopter from RMB Chivenor.

The 22 Squadron Seaking helicopter from RMB Chivenor. - Credit: Archant

One man winched to safety after pair fishing on a powerboat unable to return to shore in stormy seas.

THE search and rescue helicopter from RMB Chivenor was called out to help rescue two men off Watchet in Somerset this morning (Monday).

One of the pair had fallen overboard after their powerboat had got into difficulty some three quarters of a mile off the coast and was winched aboard with signs of hypothermia and taken to hospital in Cardiff.

Swansea Coastguard was contacted by one of the men just before 11am. They said they were struggling in the strong winds and rough sea, and couldn’t get back to the marina. The wind at the time was a force 6, with gusts of more than 30mph.

Watchet Coastguard Rescue Team was sent to the scene, along with the Minehead RNLI inshore lifeboat, which picked up the second man.

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David Jones, watch manager at Swansea Coastguard said the pair had set off in their three metre powerboat at 4am this morning to do some fishing.

“However, the conditions proved too tricky, and they were struggling to cope against the tide and strong winds,” he said.

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“One of the men had also fallen into the water, but managed to get back on board quite quickly. Luckily, both were wearing life jackets.

“However, they did not have a VHF radio on board so the only way to raise the alarm was to call us on a mobile phone.

“We always recommend you make an emergency call to the coastguard from VHF radio, as you will then tell everyone within range what your situation is. There might be someone nearby who can help.

“With the recent stormy conditions that have been affecting large parts of the UK, it is also worth remembering to check the weather and tide times before setting out.”

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