Angler washed off rocks into cold rough sea
A fisherman was plucked from the freezing cold sea off the Cornish coast in a dramatic rescue which left a lifeboat badly damaged.
The man was washed off rocks near Tintagel Head on New Year's Eve and is thought to have spent more than an hour stranded in the water.
The volunteer crew of the Port Isaac RNLI inshore lifeboat found and rescued the stricken angler but the sea was too rough for a helicopter winch operation.
The man, whose condition is not known, was taken to nearby Boscastle where a waiting ambulance took him to hospital for treatment.
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During the operation, the D class boat, Copeland Bell, was damaged in the swelling sea, and was forced to remain in Boscastle overnight.
Phil Tidy, RNLI volunteer lifeboat operations manager at Port Isaac, said the rescue highlighted the "extraordinary commitment" of volunteers who are willing to "drop everything to help save a life at sea".
He added: "To know we helped someone in trouble is a good way to see in the New Year."
RNLI crewmen Nicky Bradbury and Matt Main launched the boat with Andy Cameron at the helm late afternoon on Monday, after reports that a fisherman had been washed off rocks and into the sea.
The trio managed to find the man and get him into the lifeboat, but it was getting dark and there were mixed reports suggesting another person might be in the water.
This sparked a further search for half an hour that resulted in the discovery of a life ring – which it is thought an onlooker may have mistaken for someone in the water.
Mr Tidy added: "A lifeboat can be repaired but the damage is minor compared to the threat that was facing the poor man who was in the water."