Jewson saves overboard yachtsman

Published:  28 May, 2013

A builders’ merchant in land-locked mid-Devon helped rescue a yachtsman who went overboard off the French coast.

Chris Tucker, who works for Jewson in Crediton, said he was glad to have been able to help when an Ilfracombe man was recently swept into the sea off Ushant, North-West France.

His colleague on the 32ft yacht Caprice could not understand the French coastguard, so called his Crediton builders’ merchant, which then raised the alarm with Brixham Coastguard.

Mr Tucker said he was "a bit surprised" when his customer phoned him at about 3pm.

"I'm not quite sure why he called me, but maybe he knew I'd be there and would have access to a computer and phone," he told BBC News."It was quite difficult to hear him because it was so windy, but he just kept repeating coordinates and times. He said he couldn't understand the French coastguards and they didn't understand him."

Mr Tucker said he had seen his customer two days earlier so knew he was planning a sailing trip.

"He'd told me he was going on his friend's yacht and they were going to take it down to the south of France to leave it there for the summer, then get the ferry back," he explained.

The Ilfracombe yachtsman was rescued by a German warship and flown to hospital in France where he is being treated for hypothermia.

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