Distressed man rescued by lifeboat

A distressed man who tied himself to a buoy more than seven miles out to sea has been rescued by Exmouth RNLI.

The RNLI said the drama began when the crew of a yacht told the coastguard a man in a boat had flagged them down, before allegedly becoming hostile and throwing things at them.

The Exmouth all-weather lifeboat was dispatched, with the crew being joined by two policemen.

When they arrived, the man had moved away from the scene, so a search was conducted, led by the Devon and Cornwall police helicopter. The man’s boat was found, but he was missing.

He was later found attached to a fender buoy, to which he had tied himself with a rope. An RNLI spokesman said he was becoming hypothermic.

The crew took him back to Exmouth and a waiting ambulance, before returning to salvage his boat, which could have been a risk to shipping.

Deputy coxswain Giles White said: “We had to proceed cautiously, but it was quite clear early on that he wouldn’t pose a threat.”

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