Devon

Fisherman rescued from 'very rough seas' off Devon

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Media captionThe Maritime and Coastguard Agency has released footage of the rescue

A fisherman who fell overboard was in "very rough seas" for an hour before being rescued, coastguards have said.

Crews were called to an area off Salcombe, Devon, at about 04:45 GMT after a mayday call was issued.

The man, who was suffering from the cold in sea temperatures of 9C (48F), was winched from the water in "horrendous" weather conditions.

He was taken to hospital but is now home where he is well and in "good spirits", coastguards said.

They added: "His wellington boots had come off and being in the sea over an hour he was soaked through.

"His lifejacket with the light on it undoubtedly saved his life."

Image copyright Maritime and Coastguard Agency
Image caption The rescued fisherman, Reagan, is now home after his dramatic rescue, coastguards said

A French Navy aircraft and a number of fishing boats joined the search for the fisherman, who was named as Reagan by the coastguard.

He was found by his own crewmates at about 05:45, who alerted the Newquay Coastguard helicopter.

Capt Jörg Brunner, from the helicopter crew, said it was an "incredible rescue story".

"In horrendous weather conditions on scene with winds in excess of 60 knots (69 mph), we were preparing ourselves for an extensive search and rescue operation.

"The fisherman was spotted by his crew about 40m on the starboard side of his fishing vessel, some 400m away from smoke marker position."

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency tweeted a video of the "double winch recovery" rescue, which Capt Burnner said only took about two minutes.

They said there could have been a "very different outcome" had the fisherman not been wearing his lifejacket.

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