TWO fishermen were taken to hospital with hypothermia after spending 30 minutes in the Fleet when their boat sank.

Portland Coastguard and Weymouth RNLI Lifeboat were called out on Monday morning after a walker heard their cries for help and raised the alarm.

The men were visiting the area from Bognor Regis in West Sussex for a day of fishing on Chesil Beach.

They were trying to cross the Fleet at around 7am when their rowing boat capsized, tipping them both into the freezing cold water. Nick Newman, one of the lifeboat crewmen on the rescue, said: “There were two men in a small tender with all their fishing kit.

“The boat started taking on water as they were crossing the Fleet and there was no way they could have stopped it.

“It capsized and ended up submerged close to the shore.

“They were down for some fishing when things took a turn for the worse.”

The pair managed to make it ashore and were treated at the scene before being taken to Dorset County Hospital with hypothermia. Mr Newman said the outcome could have been much worse. He said: “They were lucky.

“They had been in the water for about half an hour and at this time of year it’s very cold.

“The man we dealt with was hypothermic – he was quite poorly and was taken away in an ambulance.

“He was really cold and shivering and his alertness wasn’t quite there, he knew who he was but was quite disorientated.

“We gave him oxygen, wrapped him up and he did improve. I imagine he will make a full recovery. If he was left there untreated he would have deteriorated and it would not have been nice.

“It’s pretty scary stuff.”

Mr Newman added: “They were lucky that a member of the public heard their cries and raised the alarm.

“It’s a remote location and if someone hadn’t seen them it could have turned out far worse and both men would probably have been in pretty poor condition.

“There was the potential there for it to have been a lot worse because hypothermia is a life-threatening condition.”