A LIFEBOAT crew and a coastguard helicopter came to the rescue of a man at sea off the coast of West Dorset.

A crew from Lyme Regis RNLI lifeboat answered their second call of the day around 3pm today following reports of a 19-year-old man in difficulties in the sea off Abbotsbury.

The man was reported to be struggling to get back to the beach and the alarm was raised by a friend ashore.

A coastguard helicopter arrived on scene just before the lifeboat and the man was winched to safety and taken to hospital in Dorchester Hospital.