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UPDATED: Man rescued off Weymouth Pleasure Pier
EMERGENCY services launched a major rescue operation to save a man who plunged off Weymouth Pleasure Pier.
He was plucked from the freezing cold water by a Weymouth Lifeboat crew.
Crewmen say the man, believed to be in his 20s, could have developed hypothermia had he remained in the sea any longer.
Dorset Police received a 999 call just after 3.30am on Saturday reporting a person at the end of the pier.
Officers attended along with the Weymouth Lifeboat, Wyke Regis coastguard rescue teams and ambulance crews.
Police tried to negotiate with the man, who was threatening to jump off the pier, but he jumped into the sea.
He was pulled from the freezing cold water by rescue teams and brought to safety.
Ken Francis, of Weymouth RNLI, said: “On arrival at the pier the lifeboat crew were confronted with an aggressive male who was stating his intention to commit suicide.
“The crew, with volunteer Karl Sargent at the helm, decided to back off into the harbour to allow the police negotiator to talk to the man.
“After a short time the man threw himself off of one of the beams under the pier into the freezing water.
“He was lifted out by the lifeboat crew a short distance from the harbour entrance and passed to the coastguard team on the steps of the pleasure pier, who in turn handed him over to the police.”
RNLI helmsman Karl Sargent said: “It was a timely call by the coastguard team to call the lifeboat back, as the water was extremely cold and there was a real chance of him developing hypothermia as he drifted out of the harbour.”
A spokesman for Portland Coastguard said the man was lucky not to spend too long in the water.
He said: “On the request of the police, rescue teams stood back to allow negotiations to take place.
“During this time the man jumped into the sea.”
He added: “The casualty was located under the pier and Wyke Regis Coastguards immediately called the lifeboat to recover the man from the water.
“He spent only two minutes in the sea and was handed over to police officers in a safe area.
“Any longer exposure could have resulted in hypothermia but luckily he wasn't in the water for very long at all.
“Rescue teams got him out very quickly and got him sorted out, in a way it was a happy ending.”
Paramedics checked the man over at the scene and he was suffering the effects of the cold but was otherwise unharmed.
DORSET POLICE'S ROLE IN THE RESCUE A spokesman for Dorset Police said: “We received a 999 call at 3.35am on Saturday reporting a man at the end of the Pleasure Pier.
“Officers attended and the coastguard was called as a temporary measure but then he was rescued by the coastguard once he was in the water.
“The man was pulled out of the water by rescue teams and wasn't in the sea for very long.”
She added: “He was checked over by ambulance crews and was suffering the effects of the cold after being in the water but otherwise unharmed.
“The incident was all finished by 5am.”