French sailors rescued in high seas off Cornwall

Winchman on French fishing vessel. Pic: Royal Navy
Image caption The winchman was plunged into the sea several times during the rescue operation

Two French sailors have been rescued in separate operations in high seas off Cornwall.

An RNAS Culdrose helicopter made several attempts to land a winchman on board a fishing vessel in 30ft (9m) high waves about 40 miles (64km) north west of the base, the Royal Navy said.

The fisherman, who had a crushed hand, was airlifted to hospital.

In the second incident, a yachtsman was rescued 26 miles (42km) south of the Isles of Scilly by lifeboat.

In the airlift operation, the helicopter's winchman was plunged into the sea several times as the aircraft's crew struggled to deal with the conditions.

In the Isles of Scilly rescue, the sailor was on board a single-handed racing yacht.

He alerted Falmouth Coastguard at about 16:00 BST that his yacht had lost its mast in gale-force conditions.

The islands' St Mary's lifeboat was launched and took an hour to reach him, coastguards said. Rescuers had to cope with a 16ft (5m) swell.

The sailor was taken back to St Mary's.

The yacht, the Betelgeuse, was abandoned, coastguards said.

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