Exmouth RNLI called to rescue individual taken ill on broken down rib

Lifeboats News Release

Exmouth RNLI volunteer crew launched this afternoon to rescue an individual who had broken down on a rib off the coast of Exmouth.

RNLI/James Searle

Exmouth RNLI Inshore Lifeboat attending the rescue.

At 4.26pm today Saturday 17 July 2021 the crew of Exmouth RNLI Inshore Lifeboat D-805 George Bearman II were tasked by H.M. Coastguard to attend a report of a lone individual in distress on board a rib with engine failure drifting of the coast of Exmouth at Littleham Cove. The occupant of the boat had made several unsuccessful attempts to restart his engine for some time.

The RNLI Inshore Lifeboat launched at 4.40pm, crewed by Helm, Roy Stott and volunteer crew Ed Steele and Geoff Mills and quickly made their way to the last known position of the vessel.

At 4.50pm the crew located the rib and determined that the individual was suffering from heatstroke, dehydration and drifting in and out of consciousness due to the unusually hot weather conditions. It became clear the individual required very urgent medical attention. The crew took the casualty on board the lifeboat and to safety at Steamer Steps, Budleigh Salterton having requested the assistance of an ambulance and an H.M. Coastguard unit.

Exmouth RNLI Medical Advisor, Dr. Jane Aitken, was close to the incident and was able to give immediate first aid to the casualty pending arrival of the other agencies.

Exmouth RNLI Crew member Charles Swale was also near to the incident on the water and undertook the recovery of the rib to Exmouth Marina.

Having satisfied themselves that the casualty was receiving prompt and adequate medical care the lifeboat returned to Exmouth RNLI Lifeboat Station where it was back on service at 6.28pm. The current condition of the casualty is not known.

Helm, Roy Stott said, “Anyone taking to the water in these unusually hot weather conditions should ensure that they take an adequate supply of water and a means of shade. The heat and sun can be just as damaging on the water as off. I was pleased that myself and my crew were able to convey the casualty to safety and prompt medical assistance as soon as we could.

Comprehensive RNLI safety advice for motorboating can be found here :

https://rnli.org/safety/choose-your-activity/yacht-sailing-and-motorboating

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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.

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