Exmouth RNLI launch on service during fundraising performance and TV filming

Lifeboats News Release

Inshore lifeboat George Bearman II was tasked three times on 2 July to assist a total of nine people in difficulty. The first was during a performance by Mikron Theatre Co. and whilst the BBC were filming an interview about a rescue story for Countryfile.

Inshore lifeboat George Bearman II launches during TV filming

RNLI/Emma Tarling

Volunteers launch in front of TV cameras

Both the Shannon class lifeboat R and J Welburn and inshore lifeboat George Bearman II with their launching systems were already positioned on the ramp, as the boat hall was transformed into a theatre for the 2pm play. Crew volunteers Robert ‘Tommo’ Thompson, Andy Stott and Charles Swales were about to change into their drysuits and lifejackets for an interview on the ramp with BBC presenter, Keeley Donovan.

The D class lifeboat was tasked at 3.25pm to the river Clyst where two men and a woman had reported to be in difficulty when their 18’ Bayliner went aground. Within 30 minutes, Crew volunteers discovered the vessel further upstream, off Topsham as the casualties had managed to push themselves afloat safely.

The Crew returned to the lifeboat station and continued the interview until 5.45pm when they were tasked for a second time. Still dressed in their kit in the warm weather, the team returned to the river Exe near Topsham. A second Bayliner (21’), this time with four adults and two children had called 999 for help after finding themselves aground on a mudflat. Due to the ebbing tide and sticky mud, the volunteers were only able to position George Bearman II 15 metres from the casualties’ location. Crew volunteers checked on their welfare, handed over bottled water and it was agreed to launch again to attempt rescue in a rising tide.

At 9.09pm, a different team of Crew volunteers launched to check on the casualties’ welfare in daylight to assess the situation. Helm, Guy Munnings describes the scene:

‘When we reached the location at around 9.30pm, there was still not enough water in the river Exe to tow the vessel off without damage. The casualties were equipped suitably, had warm clothing and were happy to wait a bit longer for assistance. At 11pm, once the tide had lifted, we towed them towards Starcross and then escorted them to Exmouth Marina where they made way under their own steam.’

Notes to Editors

  • The BBC were filming an interview for Countryfile Diaries about a rescue of two jet skiers from 26 May. The episode is due to be scheduled in mid to late August and features Respect the Water safety advice. More details on our charity’s Respect the Water campaign can be found here: www.respectthewater.com.
  • Mikron Theatre Co. were performing ‘In at the Deep End’, a story about the RNLI. Over 40 guests attended and money raised from the performance will be donated to Exmouth Lifeboat. Mikron chose Exmouth as one of eight RNLI lifeboat stations to perform in. Future performances will take place at Selsey lifeboat station on 11 July and the RNLI Lifeboat College on 13 July. See www.mikron.org.uk for more details.

Photos: (Credit: Exmouth RNLI)

PR040717 George Bearman II launches during BBC team filming

PR040717 Mikron Theatre Co performing to guests just before launching on service

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

Mikron actors played on as inshore lifeboat launched behind them

Exmouth RNLI

Mikron theatre performance continued during service launch

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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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