A "COLD and shocked" fisherman was pulled from the sea in the early hours of this morning after his trawler sank.

The man managed to put out a Mayday call and let off flares before his boat sank off Anvil Point just after 2am today.

Now his actions have been praised by coastguards who said "things may have ended differently."

HM Coastguard picked up the Mayday call from the boat, which was around half a mile southwest of Anvil Point. Within minutes the service had broadcast a Mayday to nearby vessels. Two RNLI lifeboats from Swanage were sent.

The Mayday was picked up by people onboard a pleasure boat in the area, who also reported spotting red flares. They were able to get on scene quickly and spotted the man, whose boat had sunk rapidly, in the water.

They remained with the fisherman until a lifeboat arrived at 2.37am. He was taken from the water by the lifeboat back to Swanage, where he was met by South West Ambulance Service.

Duty controller for HM Coastguard Dai Jones said: ‘There is no doubt in my mind that this fisherman kept his head and did all the right things.

“When his vessel began taking on water he immediately put out the Mayday call which we picked up. The flares which he set off meant the vessel which came to his aid could pinpoint where he was sinking within minutes.

“He had his lifejacket on, and the lights on that lifejacket made it easy for him to be spotted in the water. All of his actions gave him the best possible chance of survival and, remarkably, within 25 minutes of making that Mayday call, he was safely onboard the lifeboat.

“He was cold and in a state of shock but otherwise unharmed. Had he not acted in the way he did, things may have ended differently.”