At twenty minutes to one, today Swansea Coastguard received a 999 call from a lady reporting that she had just witnessed her husband who was angling off rocks at Broadstrand near Ilfracombe being swept into the sea. Due to poor telephone signal the call dropped out, but another man was able to make a second telephone call to the Coastguard giving further information.
Swansea Coastguard called out the Ifracombe Coastguard Rescue team and requested the launch of both Ilfracombe RNLI lifeboats. The lifeboats arrived very quickly and were able to recover the man from the water. Fortunately he was wearing a flotation suit which kept him afloat. He was in the water for 20 minutes which very quickly caused him to suffer the effects of immersion in cold water.
He was taken back to shore and taken to the local hospital for medical assessment and treatment.
The weather in the area was blowing a North Westerly Force 6, with rough seas, good visibility and dry conditions.
When the man was eventually picked up by the lifeboat, after initially being washed into the sea by a large wave, he indicated to his rescuers that he had been in the water for some twenty minutes, and that he thought he was a goner. Swansea Coastguard confirmed that the distance that the man had travelled in the sea was 1.1 nautical miles.
Bev Haigh, Duty Watch Manager says;
This man was very fortunate that he was wearing a suit that kept him afloat and that his distress was witnessed enabling rescue services to be called and to his aid very quickly.
I would recommend that all sea anglers make the appropriate assessment when undertaking fishing from rocks and wear an appropriate flotation device.
Phone: For enquiries please contact the above department