Update: Man rescued from river Torridge

Joint emergency services effort to save man from river after ‘accidental’ fall.

A MAN was rescued from the river Torridge after falling into the outgoing tide.

The casualty was pulled from the river by Appledore RNLI Lifeboat crews following a co-ordinated rescue involving fire service, police, paramedics and coastguard on Wednesday night.

When the inshore lifeboat arrived on the scene, the man was clinging to a rope on one of the moored boats and was in danger of drowning in a strongly falling tide.

Members of the public raised the alarm after hearing shouts for help coming from the Bank End side of the quay, shortly before 8pm.

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Eyewitness Darren Hart, from Bideford, said: “We heard shouting by the riverside then sirens as all the police and emergency services turned up.

“We saw them take a man out of the water, he was wrapped in one of those big foil blankets and tried to stand up in the lifeboat but fell down again.

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“He was conscious and after they let him sit in the boat for a couple more minutes they helped him walk up the steps.”

It is believed the man may have been trying to climb onto his boat when he fell.

Martin Cox, coxswain of Appledore RNLI, said: “A misplaced foot on a step, a slip, or swell hitting the tender against the boat while someone is standing to climb off the boat can result in tragedy. Please be vigilant and take care.”

The man was taken to Barnstaple’s North Devon District Hospital via ambulance and treated for possible hypothermia.

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