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Both Exmouth lifeboats rescue lone sailor on ‘unseaworthy’ yacht

Lifeboats News Release

Exmouth RNLI Shannon class and D class lifeboats launched today after a passing tug spotted a lone sailor aboard a 26' yacht in difficulty, two miles south of Exmouth.

Shannon class lifeboat R and J Welburn towing casualty into the river Exe

RNLI/Emma Tarling

Shannon towing yacht with D class alongside

Inshore lifeboat launched first at 11.42am to investigate. The casualty vessel had taken on water and suffered engine failure, so Shannon class lifeboat R and J Welburn also launched at 12 noon.

Crew volunteers put a salvage pump on board the yacht and the Shannon towed the sailor into the river Exe, with the D class lifeboat alongside.

The man was taken to his mooring off Starcross pier and safety advice was given. The casualty was wearing a lifejacket but his VHF radio wasn't connected, meaning the only method of communication he had was a torch to flash SOS.

Helm, Roger Jackson said:

‘We pumped as much water out as we could, but the whole yacht was completely sodden. The casualty wanted to stay on board and fix the leak himself. His wooden yacht was very old and we advised him not to take to the sea in the same condition and without means of communication again.’

Both boats were back at station at 2pm and ready for service at 2.30pm.

Notes to Editors


PR030517-1 Shannon class towing casualty with D class lifeboat alongside

PR030517-2 Helm, Roger Jackson investigating problem on board yacht

PR030517-3 Yacht in tow – view from Shannon class lifeboat R and J Welburn

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

Helm, Roger Jackson is put on board to assist the casualty

Exmouth RNLI

Crew volunteer investigates the casualty vessel
Casualty yacht is towed into the river Exe

Exmouth RNLI

Yacht in tow with D class alongside - view from Shannon lifeboat

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The Royal National Lifeboat Institution is the charity that saves lives at sea. Our volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service in the United Kingdom and Ireland from 238 lifeboat stations, including four along the River Thames and inland lifeboat stations at Loch Ness, Lough Derg, Enniskillen, Carrybridge and Lough Ree. Additionally the RNLI has more than 1,000 lifeguards on over 240 beaches around the UK and operates a specialist flood rescue team, which can respond anywhere across the UK and Ireland when inland flooding puts lives at risk.

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