Exmouth RNLI called to rescue crew of sinking fishing vessel

Lifeboats News Release

Exmouth RNLI volunteer crew members launched today to rescue a male who had abandoned his fishing boat after it started to sink.


Exmouth All Weather Lifeboat speeds to the scene

At 12:07pm today Friday 18 June 2021 the Exmouth RNLI All Weather Lifeboat 13-03 R & J Welburn was tasked by H.M. Coastguard to a report of a male person who had taken to a life-raft after his 40 ft fishing boat had started to take on water in Lyme Bay about 6 miles south of Budleigh Salterton.

The lifeboat, crewed by Coxswain, Steve Hockings-Thompson and volunteer crew, Mark Sampson, Guy Munnings, James Searle, James Edge and Roger Moore, launched shortly afterwards and immediately made its way to the last reported location of the casualty.

Meanwhile, a local safety vessel, the Smit-Cerne, discovered the casualty and gave assistance, taking him on board their boat until the lifeboat arrived.

An H.M. Coastguard rescue helicopter was summonsed to the scene but was stood down once it was established the casualty was safe.

The lifeboat liaised with the Smit-Cerne, took the casualty on board and took him and his life-raft back to the safety of shore at Exmouth Marina. The fishing boat sank without trace.

Apart from being wet and cold, the casualty was uninjured and did not require medical treatment.

Exmouth RNLI Coxswain, Steve Hockings-Thompson, said “This rescue was a very serious situation where, were it not for the crew member having proper emergency equipment such as a life-raft and proper means of communication, the outcome could have been far worse. I am grateful to the crew of Smit-Cerne and very pleased we were able to bring this emergency to a swift, safe and satisfactory conclusion.”

The incident was concluded and the lifeboat back on station ready for service by 2pm today.

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.

Learn more about the RNLI

For more information please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the News Centre.

Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or by email.