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A crew member who went overboard from his sailing boat in the early hours of 24 September was rescued thanks in no small part to the lifejacket he was wearing.

The alarm was raised through a mayday to HM Coastguard just after 3am on 24th September from the 16m vessel. gale force winds - southerly force 7 - in the area made it a challenging rescue.

Dungeness RNLI lifeboat and the HM Coastguard search and rescue helicopter from Lydd were sent and the man was rescued from the water by the crew just before 3.50am. He was taken to Ashford hospital for treatment.

James Crane, senior maritime operation officer with HM Coastguard said: "There is no doubt that in these dreadful weather conditions, this man’s rescue was made more straightforward because he was wearing a life jacket, which was inflated, and the strobe light was in a good working condition making him very visible in the water.

"It meant the helicopter crew could see him while they were on their way to the search area."

The boat is currently under tow by Dungeness lifeboat along with Dover RNLI lifeboat back to Dover harbour with a fouled propeller from the perry rescue line the skipper attempted to throw to the crewman when he went overboard. An attempt to launch its tender to assist the man overboard was also made but the weather conditions swept it away and this has been lost.

James added: ‘The skipper also did everything right including contacting us as soon as his crew mate had gone overboard.’

- Gov.UK

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