A 70-year-old boater was rescued by the RNLI on Saturday after falling into the water as he tried to board his vessel

A 70-year-old boater rescued from freezing cold waters by RNLI volunteers returned to the station the next day to thank the crewmen following his ordeal.

David Stocks, from Llandudno, fell into the water while trying to board his vessel on the River Conwy in North Wales and quickly began drifting out to sea with the outgoing tide.

He managed to grab hold of a boat to try and stay afloat but was losing consciousness within minutes of being immersed in the ice-cold waters.

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Dramatic rescue footage from the RNLI shows rescue crews racing towards the casualty and pulling him from the water after receiving a call for help from a man on the pontoon who’d spotted Mr Stocks.

Conwy RNLI volunteers were on the scene within four minutes of the pager’s alarm to rescue the boater who was barely conscious due to the cold temperatures.

Mr Stocks said: “‘I was attempting to reach my yacht to collect some tools, the weather was pretty rough and the next thing, some spray washed over me and I’m in the water. I’m not the kind of person to give up, but it got to the point where I just couldn’t hold on any more.  I just didn’t have enough strength.

“I was in for 12 whole minutes and I felt every single second, it felt like an incredibly long time. At one point I looked at my hands and they were white, there was no life left.

“Everything I had just wanted to drift away and go to sleep. I can only describe the experience as how you feel as a child; wanting to cuddle up and be warm and safe, but I didn’t’ want to give up.”

After being pulled ashore, Mr Stocks was taken to an awaiting ambulance and transferred to hospital for further treatment.

He suffered no major injuries and returned to the lifeboat station the next day to thank the volunteer crews for their help.

David Stocks with RNLI crewmen Greg Donald and Pete Hughes

David Stocks with RNLI crewmen Greg Donald and Pete Hughes

Conwy RNLI volunteer Greg Donald, said: “It’s very rare that we hear anything from the casualty once they’ve left our care on the lifeboat; so I was great to hear that not only has he made such a fast recovery, but he had taken the time to visit the station yesterday to thank us for our help.

“It was a great team effort with all the volunteer crew pulling together to ensure Mr Stocks was returned to shore.”