Yacht boom knocks Devon sailor, 72, overboard

Devon and Cornwall Police helicopter
Image caption The Devon and Cornwall Police helicopter flew the man to hospital

A 72-year-old man was flown to hospital after being pulled unconscious from the sea off Devon.

The sailor was knocked overboard by the boom of the 33ft (10m) yacht Wavelet on Thursday evening near the River Exe.

He was rescued from the water by the yacht's remaining four crew members and taken ashore.

Members of the Portland Coastguard rescue team performed CPR until paramedics arrived. He was then flown to the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital.

Race training

His condition is not known.

Portland Coastguard said the alarm was raised at about 19:15 BST by a member of the public who saw the yachtsman being knocked into the water.

The RNLI's Exmouth inshore lifeboat was launched, but the crew of the Wavelet managed to turn the yacht round and pull the unconscious man from the sea, a Maritime and Coastguard Agency spokesman said.

The crew had been preparing for a yacht race when the accident happened, he added.

After being treated by paramedics, the Devon sailor was flown to hospital by the Devon and Cornwall Police helicopter.

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