A POOLE dad who saved an exhausted swimmer's life as temperatures soared on Saturday said the man was "very lucky".

As reported in the Daily Echo, Graham Johnstone and his 14-year-old son Lewis were aboard their skiff in Poole Harbour at around 5.30pm when they spotted members of the public on the shore pointing in the direction of Brownsea Island.

The two then spotted a man's head disappearing beneath the waves in the channel near the chain ferry slip.

They were able to drag the man aboard ahead of the RNLI's arrival. The lifeboat's senior helm Jonathan Clark said Graham and Lewis saved the swimmer's life.

Graham said: "We were looking and looking, but it was difficult to see anything because the sun was in our eyes.

"My lad was just about able to pick him out and then he went under and we lost him."

Fortunately for the swimmer, Graham and Lewis quickly found him and offered him an oar.

Swanage and Wareham Voice:

"He grabbed hold," Graham said.

"We couldn't lift him. He was quite a big-built man.

"The boat's a Poole canoe - a flat-bottomed fishing boat. It's got low sides.

"I was trying to pull him over into the boat. I told him, 'You're going to have to help us' but he was absolutely exhausted."

Eventually, Graham and Lewis managed to pull the swimmer into the boat.

"He was in tears," Graham said.

"He's very lucky. We were really having a hard time spotting him in the water."

The man was rescued after England's World Cup victory over Sweden. He is believed to have been drinking before he got into the water.

RNLI volunteers believe he was in the sea for "some time" before his rescue.

Mr Clark said: “The casualty was extremely fortunate.

“The sailors were passing by at the right time.

"They were alerted by the actions of the people on the beach to the situation and realised the man was in real difficulty.

“By getting him out of the water, they saved his life.”