A surfer was rescued at Woolacombe yesterday (Saturday) by Ilfracombe’s all-weather lifeboat in near gale conditions.

The RNLI Ilfracombe Shannon class all weather lifeboat The Barry and Peggy High Foundation was launched at 12.30pm in challenging conditions with a force 7 south westerly wind and 3-4 metre swell.

The man, who had been surfing with a friend who raised the alarm, was 450 metres away from the shore and was rapidly being pushed further out to sea by the strong winds.

The lifeboat quickly reached the man. who was soon brought safely on board by the volunteer crew along with his surfboard.

The crew swiftly returned to the station where the surfer was assessed and he was able to get warm and dry.

The man was cold and exhausted from being in the sea for a long period in rough conditions but did not require further medical attention.

Chris Wallis, operations manager for Ilfracombe RNLI, said: “The conditions at sea today were very difficult with strong winds and huge waves.

“The RNLI lifeboat crews train extensively in order to be able to carry out rescues in challenging conditions like today.”