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Helicopter Rescue in Treacherous Conditions

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3:27pm 16th August 2012

Cornish helicopter crews battle 40 foot waves and gale force winds to rescue an injured sailor off the Isles of Scilly.  

A chopper from Culdrose was scrambled after the yachtsman slipped and hurt his ankle on Wednesday night, around 65 miles north of the islands.  

The 22 year-old was winched to safety and taken to Treliske.

The Aircrewman Corporal Justin Morgan was winched down to rescue the sailor. He said: "We received a call that there was a lone sailor in difficulties about 70 miles out to sea, just before 8pm last night.  The 40ft waves made it very difficult to search for him and using a manual search in very poor visibility, we located him in about an hour and half.  The sailor had fallen over on his 20ft yacht whilst trying to fix his masts and rigging. He slipped and injured his ankle.

"We lowered a hi-line to him, which should enable the winchman to be lowered safely onto the deck of the boat.  However, the sailor was so desperate to get off the yacht that he tied the hi-line around his waist and jumped into the water. We then had to act very quickly to ensure his safety."

3:27pm 16th August 2012

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