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Weymouth fisherman tells of sea rescue drama
A FISHERMAN was rescued from the water after he fell overboard near Osmington.
A passing fishing boat heard the stricken man's cries and managed to help him to safety.
Ashley Stones, 34, skipper of fishing vessel Wahoo, said that it was just luck that he was passing with his crewman Zach Groenewald at the time.
He said: “We were about two and a half miles out to sea on Wednesday afternoon when we spotted a man in the water.
“He was trying to grab onto the side of his boat but we could tell he was absolutely exhausted.
“We heard him calling for help and signalling to us so we headed over straight away.
“We managed to get over to him and threw him a life-ring, he was close to death.”
He added: “We managed to get him to the harbourside and the emergency services were on hand to deal with him.”
The rescued man Phil Sandford, of the vessel Karen Lynn, was rushed to Dorset County Hospital.
It become clear he had been in the water for some time and was showing signs of hypothermia.
Mr Sandford, who was fishing alone, slipped overboard when he was throwing out fishing gear.
The Wahoo was met on the quayside by coastguard rescue officers, police and paramedics.
Mr Stones was also on hand last July when a man fell overboard in Weymouth Harbour.
He added: “This is the second time I've helped pull someone from the water.
“Phil was lucky that we were passing by, it could have been a completely different story.”
The heroic skipper said he knew of Mr Sandford due to them both mooring their boats in Weymouth Harbour.
Dominic Lonsdale, watch manager at Portland Coastguard, said: "This man was very lucky to have been spotted and rescued by another fishing vessel, particularly with the cold water temperature.
"The man was wearing a two-piece flotation suit which aided his survival.
“We always recommend that commercial fishermen wear a lifejacket, personal flotation device or lifeline whilst working on the deck of a vessel at sea."