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VIDEO: Man Left Clinging To Paddleboard At Sea For 6 Hours

St Michael's Mount
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9:32am 26th November 2014
(Updated 9:32am 26th November 2014)

A man has been pulled from the water off Marazion, after being left clinging to his paddle board for six hours in the pitch black.

Lifeboats, coastguard teams from Penzance, St Ives and Porthleven and a helicopter with a search light were scrambled at around 8pm on Tuesday night.

Rescuers found Joe Holtaway around a mile off shore after his family reported him missing earlier in the evening.

He was taken to Treliske for a check up.

Posting on his Facebook page he wrote: "It was a beautiful evening in Marazion, I paddled out on my board in the sunset and drifted further/got colder than I could get myself back to shore from. Six hours later the lifeboat took me onboard, and brought me in.

"Much love, respect and appreciation for everyone who was on the beach, the emergency services, my friends and family (all are family.x)"

Martin Leslie, the coastguard's area commander, said: "The guy has been recovered. He was found by the lifeboat at the back of St Michael's Mount. He's being transported to Treliske hospital by land ambulance.

"He was wearing a wetsuit and had a paddleboard or something similar.

"If you're going to go out you must let people know where you're going to go, what time you're going to be back. Stay within your limitations.

"Today it's calm, it's flat, it's good conditions - but it is very cold, even standing here on the shore side."

Joe's bike, clothes and a towel were found near the beach sparking the massive rescue operation.

Mark lives nearby and said: "The helicopter has been scanning up and down the shore. There's been the coastguard and a rib flying around with lots of people on the beach with torches and also off St Michael's Mount with high power torches. It's been quite a large scale search we've seen tonight.

"We're standing here nicely wrapped up - but to be out on the water on a night like this is going to be pretty challenging.

"The level at which the helicopter has been flying across Mount's Bay has been incredible - probably no more than 20 feet above the water in pitch black conditions. These people are taking a lot of risks to try to find whoever has gone missing."

Joe's brother Ben has thanked the crew of Penlee lifeboat for plucking him to safety, describing them as "superstars."

Joe himself, an experienced cold water swimmer, has posted a selfie drinking a cup of tea at home - and told Pirate FM he is going to have a quiet day.

9:32am 26th November 2014

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