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Last Updated: Saturday, 24 July, 2004, 10:46 GMT 11:46 UK
Rescuers save fisherman from bees
Bees on boat
The bees trapped the fisherman. Picture: Burry Port Lifeboat
Emergency services in south Wales have rescued a man who was trapped on his boat by a swarm of bees.

Ray Cooper, 51, was fishing two miles off Penclawdd on the Gower peninsula when the insects arrived.

He was forced to take refuge in the vessel's cabin, where he called for help by radio.

A lifeboat from Burry Port rescued the fisherman and a second boat was later despatched with a beekeeper on board to clear the bees and recover the vessel.

Mr Cooper, from Llanelli, west Wales, said: "One landed on my arm, but then I looked up and there were bees all over the place.

Ray Cooper, who called the coastguard
Ray Cooper describing how the bees swarmed his boat

"I ran into the cabin and shut the door and got hold of the coastguard."

Burry Port lifeboatman Spencer Davies said: "It was just a black ball - I'd seen nests of bees before, but never on a boat."

Steve Jones, watch officer at Swansea Coastguard, said:"I have never heard of this before. It is amazing."

The bees had to be killed by the bee expert, because of fears they might have been diseased, and so could not be brought ashore.

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