Nine people rescued in two days after capsizes in the River Dart.
Both RNLI Dart lifeboats responded to urgent calls in force 4 to 6 winds when nine people found themselves in the water.
On Saturday 4 July a couple in their fifties were unable to climb back into their open Canadian canoe when it capsized off Blackness Point on the river Dart. on the river Dart. Two RIBs from Dart Harbour were already on the river and reached them first. They took them onboard and ferried them and the canoe to the Dittisham pontoon. The crew of the D class lifeboat checked their vital signs there and helped to keep them warm and out of the strong wind until the Dartmouth Coastguard volunteers arrived. The Coastguards supplied them with warm towels and transferred them back by road to Totnes. The following day a group of paddleboarders raised the alarm by phoning the Coastguard when they saw an 18ft. day-sailor raise its sails and almost at once capsize. All seven on board were thrown into the water. Four swam to the muddy shore opposite Sharpham Quay and the other three pulled themselves into the small inflatable tender which was still attached to the practically submerged stern of the yacht. The wind was gusting to 35knots from the west as the two Dart lifeboats responded to the call, gaining additional information as they passed the paddleboarders on their way. The RNLI Atlantic 75 lifeboat, B795, is taking part in a two year trial to establish the suitability of placing a B class at the Dart station. The B class took the three sheltering in the tender onboard and the D class inflatable lifeboat was able to reach the very muddy bank and to take the remaining four back to the B class lifeboat. The larger lifeboat, with ten on board, made its way upstream to Sharpham Quay where the casualties were handed over to the care of the Dartmouth Coastguard S & R volunteers who returned them by road to Totnes. A RIB from Dart harbour slowly pulled the yacht, with only four inches of its stern showing above the water, to Sharpham Quay. There they were joined by the Dart Harbour barge, Hercules, with a crane and pump on board. Strops were guided under the yacht and she was gently lifted from the water.
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 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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