Soaring spring temperatures keep Exmouth RNLI volunteers busy

Lifeboats News Release

The start of the Easter holidays and warm weather attracted masses to the south Devon coast last week. Crew volunteers launched several times in just four days and continue to encourage members of the public to respect the water.

Recovery of D class inshore lifeboat George Bearman II at 8pm 9 April

RNLI/Emma Tarling

Inshore lifeboat George Bearman II recovery 8pm 9 April

Inshore lifeboat George Bearman II launched at 4.20pm on 6 April following a call to the Coastguard from a member of the public. A teenage boy was seen in Otter Cove, thought to have been cut off by the tide. Once on scene in five minutes, Crew volunteers arrived to catch sight of a boy fitting the description, climbing up a steep cliff to safety.

At 4.40pm, Crew volunteers were heading back to the lifeboat station when they were tasked by the Coastguard to a dog over the cliff at Orcombe Point. Volunteers spotted the 11 yr old Labrador Staffordshire cross breed 40m down the cliff face on a narrow ledge, in distress. Between local Coastguard teams, Devon & Cornwall Police and Devon & Somerset Fire teams, the dog was rescued from the top of the cliff. Crew volunteers stood by for one and a half hours, prepared the D class lifeboat mattress on the rocks below and made contact with the dog’s owner, who reassured him from the beach below.

On 7 April both Shannon class lifeboat R and J Welburn and D class George Bearman II launched at lunchtime to search an area south of Orcombe Point. Debris from a fibre glass boat had been found and there was concern for possible casualties and more debris. After two hours of searching with no further sightings, the Shannon class lifeboat returned at 2.15pm.

On 8 April at 8.55pm, the inshore lifeboat was tasked to a lady with no sailing experience, left alone on a 23’ yacht in the dark, in the river Exe. Her partner had gone to the assistance of two kayakers in difficulty crossing the river from Turf hotel to Lympstone and had been gone some time. By the time Crew volunteers arrived on scene at 9.21pm, the man had returned and admitted he should have taken means of communication with him. Volunteers searched around Lympstone for any sign of the kayakers in further difficulty and with no further sightings, returned to station by 10pm.

On 9 April at 5.20pm, whilst on exercise, Crew volunteers in George Bearman II went to the assistance of two men. They were having difficulty recovering their powerboat with engine problems onto Mamhead slipway in a rising tide. A Crew volunteer gave safety advice as he noticed the engine was misaligned and could cause future problems.

At 6.27 pm as the volunteers reached the station, they overheard a conversation between the Coastguard and a yacht over the VHF radio. Two people on board a 28’ yacht half a mile south of Orcombe Point raised the alarm after suffering engine failure. They were experiencing difficulty making headway in the onshore winds, needing assistance and with no other vessels in the area, George Bearman II was tasked. Within a matter minutes, volunteers set up a tow and took the casualties to Starcross Yacht Club, back to their mooring.

Later the same night, both Exmouth lifeboats launched to a sighting of three flares within a short space of time seen by a member of the public, off Straight Point. Inshore lifeboat George Bearman II launched at 9.45am and carried out a shoreline search, eastwards to Budleigh Salterton. Shannon class lifeboat R and J Welburn launched at 9.55pm and carried out two search patterns up to four miles south and south-east off Straight Point. With no further sightings, both lifeboats were stood down and were made ready for service by 2am.

Notes to Editors

Crew volunteers at the lifeboat station had two requests for first aid from children playing on the beach. RNLI Lifeguards are on duty at Exmouth beach from 27 May to 3 September and Sandy Bay from 8 July to 3 September.

Details about our charity’s Respect the Water campaign can be read here:



11 yr old Labrador Staffordshire cross, Barney with owners Blanche and Paul Barker with Crew volunteers: Tractor Driver, Ed Shutt (left) and Helm, Scott Ranft (right).

PR100417 George Bearman II recovery at 8pm on 9 April

For more information please telephone Emma Tarling, Exmouth RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer on 07837 810082 or email:

II yr old Barney with owners Blanche and Paul Barker with Tractor Driver, Ed Shutt (left) and Helm, Scott Ranft (right)

RNLI/Emma Tarling

Lucky dog, Barney with owners and Crew volunteers

Key facts about the RNLI

The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates over 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.

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Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or or by email.