Fishermen rescued from sea off Devon as boats collide

Portland coastguard helicopter The fisherman was winched on board and taken to Exeter with severe hypothermia

Two men have been rescued from the sea after a trawler and a merchant shipping vessel collided off south Devon.

They went overboard when a container ship, the Boxford, and a trawler, the Admiral Blake, collided about 30 miles south of Start Point.

The coastguard rescue helicopter at Portland was scrambled and the Salcombe lifeboat was launched to find the men.

One was found after nearly an hour in the water and was taken to hospital with severe hypothermia.

The rescue operation was coordinated by Brixham Coastguard which received a mayday call shortly before 1845 GMT on Friday.

The Admiral Blake was reportedly taking on water but not in danger of sinking.

One man was pulled from the sea within minutes of the collision.

Winched aboard helicopter

Several other vessels joined in the search for the second man including the Amber J, the Geeske, the passenger vessel Oriana and the rescue boat from the Boxford.

The man was eventually located shortly after 1930 GMT by the Boxford rescue boat.

He was then winched aboard the Coastguard Rescue helicopter and taken to the landing site in Exeter before being transferred to the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital with severe hypothermia.

A rescue helicopter from RNAS Culdrose was sent to the Admiral Blake to bring a salvage pump and assess the condition of the first crewman to be recovered.

A spokesman for the Maritime and Coastguard Agency said the Admiral Blake suffered extensive damage in the collision but was towed to the Plymouth lifeboat before being taken into Plymouth.

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