Solent Coastguard comes to the aid of an Isle of Wight surfer. Picture courtesy of Ian Pacey.
UPDATED THURSDAY 12:05*
A DRAMATIC helicopter rescue operation was launched yesterday (Tuesday) after a surfer was knocked off his board by a 30ft wave.
The surfer was plucked from the water at Freshwater Bay by the Solent Coastguard helicopter, after a concerned friend phoned for help at 1.40pm.
The surfer had been separated from his board when he was caught under a huge wave.
A witness said the man had battled for around 30 minutes to swim to shore, until another surfer reached him and was able to let him rest on his board.
Freshwater Independent Lifeboat informed the coastguard they could not launch, so the coastguard dispatched the rescue helicopter, which was operating nearby.
A Freshwater Independent Lifeboat spokesman confirmed that the man was uninjured.
Surfer Tom Court, who paddled out to help the man, captured part of the rescue on camera as shown in the video below: