Exmouth Lifeboat assists paddle boarders in difficulty
At 5.11pm today, Saturday 20 June 2020, Exmouth RNLI’s temporary inshore lifeboat D-755 Peggy D was requested to launch by HM Coastguard following reports of two paddle boarders in difficulty on the River Exe off Exmouth Railway Station.
Assisted by volunteer RNLI launch & recovery crew Paul Balbi, Mark Cockman and Robert Thompson, the lifeboat was launched shortly afterwards and reached the scene of the incident by 5.18pm. A unit from Exmouth Coastguard was also on location to assist.
Commanded by Helm, Guy Munnings and volunteer RNLI crew members Harry Griffin and Chris Sims, the individuals, together with two men who had entered the water to help them were quickly located. The two female paddle boarders and one of the men were taken onboard the lifeboat and to the safety of Exmouth Marina, whilst the fourth made his own way to land.
The paddle boarders, who were suffering from shock and the cold, were given medical assistance. None of the casualties required further treatment.
Guy Munnings said: ‘At this time of year the river can be deceptively cold and there is always a risk that paddle boarders can easily get chilled and shocked very quickly if immersed, even for short periods of time.
'It’s important for all water users to be aware of this risk and take action to prevent it – have proper training, always be aware of the weather and tides, wear suitable clothing, use a buoyancy aid or lifejacket and have a paddleboard with a leash.
'It was fortunate that a passer-by reported this incident promptly, called 999 for Coastguard and RNLI assistance and we were quickly on scene to assist.'
On completion of the assignment the lifeboat made its way back to Exmouth Lifeboat Station where it was back ready for service by 6.30pm.
Important RNLI safety advice for paddle boarders can be found here: https://rnli.org/safety/choose-your-activity/stand-up-paddle-boarding
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 over 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and, in a normal year, 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.