STUDENTS from South Devon College took part in the rescue of an elderly sailor off Beesands yesterday.
The man was in the water half a mile out to sea after his Topper dinghy capsized.
The Dartmouth-based Dart RNLI lifeboat was launched at 2.40pm.
A Dart lifeboat spokesman said the man, who was unable to get back on board his dinghy, was spotted by two South Devon College training yachts, Endeavour and Aspiration.
The man and his craft were taken on board the Endeavour, skippered by Ian Mills.
He had been in the water for some 15 minutes and was very cold.
The lifeboat was asked by the Coastguard to assess the situation and took Haydn Glanville, their paramedic, as part of the crew.
The Coastguard helicopter was on exercise in the area but was not needed.
The sailor was given a change of clothing and brought back by Endeavour to Dartmouth where he was assessed at the local Cottage Hospital.