A Portland fisherman was treated for hypothermia and cuts after his boat nearly sunk when it was hit by a ‘freak wave’.

Weymouth all-weather and inshore lifeboats were launched and the Coastguard rescue helicpoter scrambled after the Nimble was swamped by the wave just off Portland Bill.

Joseph Kimpton, 25, from Fortuneswell was at the helm the boat at the time when the wave hit the vessel and shattered the wheelhouse window.

He suffered facial cuts from the flying glass and once the vessel reached the shore he was treated by paramedics for shock and hypothermia.

He said he was out fishing for the family business at the time with his dad Chris Kimpton and cousin Brian Simpson.

“I was drift fishing when it happened and as I went over the tide, a freak wave came up over me and shot me down.

“Suddenly all I could see was this massive wave which must have been between 20 and 30ft.

“Then all the glass just shattered and the entire wheelhouse filled up as well as the back.

“I couldn’t see anything because I was completely submerged in water and covered in glass.

“I wouldn’t say I was calm but I tried to stay in control of the boat because it could have been close to sinking.

“Two crew members including my dad were trying to get rid of the water out of the back while I was controlling the boat.

“It is illegal to go out on your own, but if I had of been alone I’d be dead.

“When the back was clearer my dad had to take over from me driving because when I tried to turn left, I turned right and when I tried to turn right, I turned left. I just couldn’t think straight.”

His brother, Douglas Kimpton, added: “Freak waves happen all the time, it’s just the way it is.

“We have been hit before but just not like this.

“Never to the point where the glass has broken.”

Portland Bill Coastguard rescue team kept watch over the boat while a Coastguard helicopter stood by until lifeboats arrived.

Both the RNLI inshore and all-weather lifeboats attended the rescue and the crew were met by Wyke Coastguard rescue officers.

The wheelhouse and front window are the worst damaged and the family is now making arrangements to repair the vessel which they believe will cost around £1,200.

John Sargent, RNLI press communications officer, said: “It appears that it was a rogue wave that hit this vessel. Both RNLI lifeboats had to assist but the vessel was able to make its own way back in to shore.

“When a rogue wave hits, it is just bad luck.”