‘I’ve been doing search and rescue for nearly twenty years and Regan was the first fisherman I’ve taken out of the water who was conscious and alive, but he was also the first fisherman I took out of the water wearing a lifejacket.’
These are the powerful words of coastguard winchman ‘Spike’ Hughes who lifted fisherman Reegan Green out of the water when he was flung into the sea in treacherous conditions. Reegan was wearing a lifejacket which kept him alive for over an hour before the coastguard helicopter rescued him. Reegan and his crewmates have been overwhelmed by the positive reaction his incident has had on fishing communities around the UK.
It was an emotional reunion when HM Coastguard Newquay helicopter crew, Capt Sharky Finn, Capt Jorg ‘Yogi’ Brunner, winch operator Phil Warrington and winchman Mark ‘Spike’ Hughes met fisherman Reegan Green for the first time after his dramatic rescue off the Salcombe coast. Coastguard winchman ‘Spike’ Hughes said: ‘The sea state was pretty big that night - about 20ft with 70 knot winds, so it was quite a horrific night. It’s the type of night you don’t want to be going outside in. I saw Reegan looking at me from the water - I could see the whites of his eyes and he could see the whites of mine and that was a good moment. By then I was only a matter of feet away and within about two minutes the rescue was complete. It’s really, really good to see him here today, having an outcome such as this is absolutely fantastic.’