George Perkis thanks his lifesavers at UKSA. From left, UKSA chief executive Richard Thornton, George Perkis and rescuers Nick Spence, Andy Smith and George Turpin. Picture by Peter Boam.
AFTER more than an hour stranded at sea and left clinging to rocks, an Isle of Wight man survived after being saved by water sports instructors from UKSA.
Experienced angler George Perkis, 73, from Monterey Road, Ryde, was out in his 17-foot dory when the anchor slipped, just off Osborne Bay.
Mr Perkis was preparing the boat to head back to shore, when a wave hit the side and threw him overboard.
His lifejacket did not inflate and he was left struggling to clamber back aboard. After several failed attempts and swallowing a lot of seawater, he remembered the emergency cord and pulled it to inflate his lifejacket.
However, he was taken further out to sea by the tide and the boat slammed into him twice.
Mr Perkis said: "You would not believe how heavy your clothes feel. I was only wearing a shirt, trousers and shoes but they were weighing me down and it was exhausting. I tried swimming but I just couldn’t."
Eventually, the sea pushed him to shore and he was able to clamber up on the rocks near Fishbourne.
Several dinghies from UKSA came around the point and he was spotted.
Mr Perkis said: "When I made it home, I went into the kitchen and broke down. My wife rang 101 and an ambulance came round straight away."
He was taken to St Mary’s Hospital, where he had six x-rays. Luckily he had not broken anything but did sustain bruised ribs and elbows, cut legs and a swollen groin.
Mr Perkis was so grateful for the help he received from UKSA he donated £50.
Richard Thornton, UKSA chief executive, said: "We are really proud of our guys. Mr Perkis was in so much trouble but their vast amount of training and experience meant they managed to pull him to safety, resulting in a happy ending."