Exmouth RNLI Inshore Lifeboat launched to assist grounded vessel

Lifeboats News Release

Last evening, Saturday 4 April 2020 Exmouth’s RNLI Inshore Lifeboat George Bearman II was alerted by Exmouth RNLI volunteer crew member, David Preece, to go to the assistance of a vessel sailing erratically on the River Exe where it was seen to collide with a number of buoys.

Lynne Tregenna Wood

The Catamaran aground on Pole Sands

The incident was subsequently reported to H.M. Coastguard by an off duty member of the National Coastwatch Institute when the vessel was seen apparently drifting off the River Exe estuary.

The lifeboat was launched immediately at 7.12pm by volunteer shore crew Carl Halford, Henry Mock and Robert Thompson and under the command of Helm, David Preece and volunteer crew, Scott Ranft and Harry Griffin, immediately went to the scene of the incident.

On their arrival minutes later at 7.29pm the crew ascertained that the vessel, a 30ft Catamaran with two male individuals on board, had run aground on Pole Sands. The volunteer crew took the two individuals on board and conveyed them to Exmouth Marina.

The crew then set about safely securing the Catamaran before returning to Exmouth RNLI Lifeboat Station at 8.30pm. The inshore lifeboat was back ready for service at 9.03pm.

Exmouth RNLI Helm, David Preece said:

'I first saw the Catamaran sailing erratically on the River Exe where it collided with a number of buoys and appeared in some difficulty. We were on the scene very quickly by which time it was apparent the vessel had gone aground. Our volunteer crew took the two individuals to the safety of Exmouth Marina and later secured the vessel.

'I would echo the current advice from the Exeter Ports Authority that recreational use of the River Exe, Canal and other waters under its control is deemed as non-essential and we would urge water users to heed that sensible advice.'

Detailed advice from the Exeter Ports Authority can be found at this link : https://exeter.gov.uk/leisure-and-culture/sport-and-leisure/exeter-port-authority/covid-19-a-letter-to-river-and-canal-users/

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