An elderly man suffered hypothermia after falling from his yacht into freezing waters

Sailors

are being urged to wear lifejackets after an elderly man was pulled from

freezing waters in the Lake District.

The

elderly man, who had fallen from his boat and sustained a minor head injury,

was rescued from Lake Windermere after spending two hours in ‘very cold’ temperatures.

After

being alerted by calls for help at around 4.15pm on 3 December, South Lakeland District Council (SLDC) lake

wardens Graeme Woodman and Travis Spraske found the casualty clinging to

the ladder at the back of his yacht.

The

elderly man, who does not wish to be named, was suffering from hypothermia.

Frankie

Flannigan, lake and parking services officer, said: ‘It is without a doubt that

the actions of the lake wardens with their rapid response and excellent medical

skills prevented this from becoming another tragedy.’

Mr

Woodman, said: ‘When the casualty was recovered there was no core temperature

reading and he was drifting in and out of consciousness. His plight was made

all the more difficult because the gentleman concerned was in very cold water,

eight degrees Celsius, and heavily weighed down by wet clothing.

‘He

also wasn’t wearing a safety flotation jacket, which made his condition far

more serious.’

The

Personal Flotation Device Manufacturers Association say, nine out of ten

drowning’s occur in inland waters and most are within a

few feet of safety, involving boats under 20-feet long.

Most

drowning victims had a life jacket available and chose not to wear it. Life

jackets are designed to keep you afloat in the water and give you extra time

for rescue services to reach you.

Gaining

more time can mean life or death, as it only takes 60 seconds for an adult to

drown and 20 seconds for a child to drown. 70% of all boating fatality accidents

result from drowning and almost 85% of those who drown are not wearing a life

jacket.

The

casualty was taken by patrol boat to Ferry Nab where his condition was

stabilised prior to the arrival of the police and ambulance services. The

casualty was taken to the Royal Lancaster Infirmary at 5.15pm and has since

been released and has thanked all those involved with his rescue.