A fisherman who fell overboard and was forced to cling to his nets for more than an hour was saved after an 11-year-old boy spotted him in trouble.
Nathan Rogers, who is in his late 30s, was dragged along by his fishing boat for five miles before it crashed into the south pier in Newlyn, Cornwall, on Thursday afternoon.
His boat, which was on autopilot, kept travelling forward after Mr Rogers fell in the water adjusting his nets.
He was saved after Louis-Matisse Nicholls, who had been picking up plastic waste on the beach, spotted the experienced fisherman clinging to his nets 90ft behind his boat. The eagle-eyed child told his parents Nadine and Philip and urged them to call 999.
A fisherman who fell overboard and was forced to cling to his nets for more than an hour was saved after an 11-year-old boy spotted him in trouble
Nathan Rogers, 40, (pictured recovering in hospital) was dragged five miles through the freezing sea by his own boat after falling overboard while off the Cornish coast
An RNLI lifeboat, which was towing a broken-down crabber fishing vessel nearby, picked up a distress message and dropped the tow to assist Mr Rogers.
Also in the area was local fishing boat Dream Catcher, which located Mr Rogers and secured him to the side of the boat until Penlee lifeboat crew were able to haul him from the sea.
Mr Rogers was taken by ambulance to hospital, where he was treated for hypothermia before being allowed to recover at home.
The fisherman fell over-board around five miles from shore. He was then dragged through the freezing sea all the way back to Newlyn port (pictured) after grabbing on to his fishing nets
The fisherman is seen in the waters near Newlyn port before his rescue by Penlee Lifeboat
Last night, Louis-Matisse, from Penzance told the Daily Mail he was ‘happy’ he had been able to help.
He said: ‘There was a fisherman that fell off his boat. I saw his head above the water. I told my dad to phone 999 and get the Coastguard.
‘We learned about it in school once. I just kept watching to try and help. My mum and dad keep calling me a hero – it’s good. My friends are proud. The people from the lifeboat said I helped save a life and they are very proud.’
Louis-Matisse was previously awarded a young citizen of the year award for the amount of plastic he has collected from Cornwall’s beaches.
An 11-year-old boy raised the alarm and the lad’s father contacted coastguards who instructed a lifeboat to rescue the man. Pictured is the rescue taking place
Mr Harvey – who has been a fisherman and lifeboatman for more than 20 years – said he’d never seen anything quite like it in all his time at Penlee lifeboat (pictured)
Mrs Nicholls said her son was ‘amazing’, adding: ‘All the credit is down to Louis-Matisse to be fair.
‘He was young citizen of the year and he does a lot for the community. He’s on the beach all the time and knows the dangers, he can spot things floating out at sea – he’s very good at that.’
Mr Rogers, now recovering at home with his family, thanked his rescuers.
The coxswain of the lifeboat, Patch Harvey, praised Louis-Matisse’s quick-thinking, adding that he was ‘amazed’ Mr Rogers had survived.