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Exmouth RNLI volunteers rescue man on yacht in the dark river Exe

Lifeboats News Release

Exmouth’s inshore lifeboat launched at 2.55am on 8 May, following a call to the Coastguard from a man aground in the dark river Exe.

The UK Coastguard was contacted at 2.30am to request the launch of a lifeboat to assist a 16’ ketch aground off Starcross.

After some difficulty, as the sole person on board the yacht was unsure of his position, Crew volunteers found the casualty at Cockwood by setting off a white flare and asking the casualty to confirm the sighting to the Coastguard. Once located, the ketch was taken under tow to a deep water mooring in the river Exe and the casualty taken ashore, at his request to Exmouth Marina at 4.30am.

The yacht was in poor condition and ill-equipped, the only means the owner had of summoning assistance was an unreliable mobile phone and this contributed to the difficulty in locating the vessel. Appropriate safety advice was given.

Helm, Scott Ranft said:

‘This is the second call-out we’ve had in a week to lone sailors in yachts which have been in a poor state and without basic safety and communication equipment. We urge everyone who takes to the water to take a reliable means of communication with them and wear lifejackets. Please respect the water and learn about tide times as it can change very quickly in the river Exe.’

Notes to Editors

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

Key facts about the RNLI

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.

The RNLI relies on public donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. As a charity it is separate from, but works alongside, government-controlled and funded coastguard services. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824 our lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved at least 140,000 lives. Volunteers make up 95% of the charity, including 4,600 volunteer lifeboat crew members and 3,000 volunteer shore crew. Additionally, tens of thousands of other dedicated volunteers raise funds and awareness, give safety advice, and help in our museums, shops and offices.

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The RNLI is a charity registered in England and Wales (209603) and Scotland (SC037736). Charity number 20003326 in the Republic of Ireland