saves life of man, 72, thrown into sea when dinghy upturns
A lucky pensioner has recounted how a lifejacket has saved his
life when his dinghy capsized in the chilly waters of the Bristol
Channel near Brean on Friday morning (November 30th).
water user Roger Ferrier, 72, was plunged into the water while
rowing in his dinghy in the River Axe at Uphill.
made a grab for a rope and overbalanced, resulting in the dinghy
capsizing and throwing him into the water.
fast-flowing water swept him downstream, but he was kept afloat
by his lifejacket and managed to pull himself out and scramble
to the shore.
short-time later, the crew of a passing helicopter spotted his
upturned dinghy a mile or two out from Brean and Coastguards were
RNLI lifeboat crew was asked to recover the dinghy, which they
found around 12 miles downstream from the original incident. It
was taken back to Burnham lifeboat station for Mr Ferrier to collect,
as pictured here.
pensioner, from Bleadon, told Burnham-On-Sea.com: "I was
rowing out to my mooring and the water flow was very swift. I
grabbed for the mooring line and the dinghy capsized, throwing
me into the water."
lifejacket auto-inflated and I attempted to swim unsuccessfully
against the water flow. I grabbed for a landline and managed to
crawl to the shore."
lifeboat spokesman Mike Lang added: "This incident highlights
the importance of wearing a suitable lifejacket - Roger's was
new and by automatically inflating probably saved his life."
added that because of difficulty in launching the Staines Whitfield
lifeboat through Burnham's beach mud at low water, the D-class
Puffin lifeboat had been used to recover the dinghy.
Top, helmsman Ashley Chappell with Roger Ferrier holding up the
now deflated lifejacket that saved his life and, above, crewmembers
Ashley Chappell, Lyndon Baker and Vashti Ross-Hatcher with the
dinghy; and, below, the lifeboat launching during the incident
on Burnham beach