A boat owner has been winched to safety by the HM Coastguard search and rescue helicopter based at Newquay, after being grounded near Plymouth.

The small boat owner called the Coastguard to say he was stuck in a creek at St Germans.

Access to the area was difficult and there was concern over dropping temperatures and the onset of nightfall.

The Plymouth inshore lifeboat was sent to search the river but it was apparent that navigation on the higher section of the river would be difficult and on this basis the decision was made to call in the Coastguard helicopter from Newquay.

Tamar and Plymouth Coastguard Rescue Teams (CRTs) manned the helicopter landing site and HM Coastguard senior coastal operations officer Shamus McCaffrey provided advice and local knowledge to the Coastguard Operations Centre at Falmouth.

Shamus said: ‘This shows that no matter how experienced you might be, you can still get caught out by tides and weather.’

‘It’s a reminder when you’re venturing up creeks and rivers and in coastal areas to make absolutely sure you know the tide times and tide tables and checked out local knowledge too.

‘At this time of year when temperatures can drop rapidly, hypothermia is always a risk so make sure you’re prepared for cold weather.’

He added: ‘Everyone carried out an important role in this rescue – and it’s a good moment to remind people of the role HM Coastguard takes in keeping people safe at the coast. We’re currently looking to recruit volunteers, particularly in the Saltash, Plymouth and Torpoint areas.’

Would-be volunteers who are physically fit, have good day-time availability and would like to be considered, can contact Shamus on 07771 795790.