Published: 13:14, 25 September 2019
| Updated: 16:21, 25 September 2019
The dramatic moment a man was winched from the sea during a storm was caught on camera.
The difficult rescue took place during gale force winds in the early hours of yesterday after the man fell overboard from a sailing boat.
The moment the casualty was winched from the sea
Dungeness RNLI along with the UK Coastguard Search and Rescue Helicopter from Lydd were tasked to find the man following a mayday just after 3am in the English Channel.
Luckily, as he was wearing a life-jacket fitted with a flashing light, the helicopter crew were able to locate him in the choppy water.
The man was winched from the sea and airlifted to the William Harvey Hospital.
Now the Coastguard have released footage of the rescue mission and have praised the equipment the casualty was wearing for saving his life.
They say without the light, it's doubtful they would have found him.
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 rescue took place in the Dover Strait.
RNLI coxswain Stuart Adams added: "If the casualty hadn’t been wearing a lifejacket, it could have been a very different story due to the terrible conditions.
"The weather was extremely challenging and the person on board the casualty vessel made the correct call to the UK Coastguard as soon as there was a problem."
The skipper of the boat had attempted to help his crewmate by launching its tender, but the weather conditions swept it away and this has been lost.
The vessel was towed to Dover by the Dungeness lifeboat, with assistance from Dover RNLI, after suffering damage.
James added: "The skipper also did everything right including contacting us as soon as his crew mate had gone overboard."