Anglers rescued after boat capsizes in English Channel

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The Independent Online

Three anglers had to be rescued this morning after their fishing boat capsized and sank in the English Channel.

Portland Coastguard said the men were "lucky to be alive" after being thrown into the water without lifejackets on when their 16-foot "sports angling" boat overturned at speed before sinking off Seaton, east Devon.

The three, who had left their lifejackets at home, were rescued by the crew of the Sam, an angling boat based in nearby Beer, which was passing-by when the accident occurred around 6am close to the mouth of the River Axe.

Roger Hoare, Portland Coastguard watch officer, said: "These three men are extremely lucky to be alive after making such a basic error as leaving their lifejackets at home. If the angling vessel Sam had not been passing at that moment their chances of survival could have been limited. A lifejacket is useless unless you wear it.

"The men also did not have any means of communication with them, other than mobile phones, which are useless when wet, can easily fall out of pockets and are extremely unreliable on the water."

The three men were left cold and wet but unharmed after being rescued. The coastguard said their boat may be salvaged later today. PA