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June 5, 2004
Both lifeboats launched in rescue of man overboard

Burnham On Sea RNLI D Class lifeboatBurnham-On-Sea RNLI's D class lifeboat (pictured right) was launched at approximately 18:55 hrs on June 5th - followed shortly afterwards by the Staines Whitfield, an Atlantic 75, at 19:05 hrs - to assist in the recovery of a 'man overboard' from an anchored 17ft white yacht.

The yacht's owner, a 50 year old male, had apparently slipped over the side while recovering his anchor, and was unable to clamber back on board.

The location of the rescue was over the Gore Sands, approximately one mile out, in line with Berrow Church.

The Coastguard had earlier received a message from Burnham Sailing Club saying the sailing vessel 'Ruby' had been out sailing with another vessel and was long overdue to return to her mooring.

On arrival, the Burnham-On-Sea RNLI crew found the white yacht anchored, on the extreme westerly side of Gore Sands, with no visual sign of a person on board. They circled the vessel and found the yachtsman nearby in the water, holding a lifeline from the yacht and wearing an undone lifejacket.

He was said to be exhausted, drowsy, hypothermic and had swallowed a large volume of sea water. The yachtsman had been sailing on his own and had accidentally fallen overboard while trying to lift the anchor. He said he had been in the water for the best part of an hour.

The man was wrapped in a survival bag and put in the recovery position while the lifeboat crew kept him awake by talking to him. They requested an ambulance meet them at the Burnham-On-Sea slipway. On arrival, the ambulance took him to the Casualty department of Weston General Hospital where he was making a full recovery.

The crew of the Staines Whitfield recovered the yacht and aided its recovery to Burnham-on-Sea Sailing Club.


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Please contact the Burnham-On-Sea RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager Martin Cox or telephone Burnham-On-Sea RNLI's Lifeboat Administration Officer, Clare Rundle, on 01278 781123.

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