Two rescued by Lyme Regis RNLI crew as fishing boat sinks

Lifeboats News Release

Two men were rescued from the sea by the volunteer RNLI crew of the Lyme Regis lifeboat last night (Sunday 14 November) after their 15 foot fishing boat capsized near the mouth of the River Axe at Axmouth.

RNLI/Amy Caldwell

A third man managed to reach the shore, but the other two were found floating on their backs and were plucked to safety by two members of the lifeboat crew who went into the water to reach them.

One of the two men was airlifted from the lifeboat by the coastguard helicopter and taken to hospital in Dorchester suffering from the cold.

The second man was taken ashore by the lifeboat crew and is thought to have been taken to hospital in Exeter.

One man using a torch was spotted in the water by coastguards from Beer and Lyme Regis who were communicating with the lifeboat from the shore, and the other was found thanks to searchlights from the helicopter.

The two lifeboat crew who recovered the men from the sea were Andy Butterfield and Rich Tilley.

Lifeboat helm Tim Edwards said: 'The men were very lucky, but they were doing what the RNLI recommends and floating on their backs waiting for help to arrive.'

The lifeboat crew were alerted at 4.59pm and launched seven minutes later. They returned to Lyme Regis at 7pm after two hours at sea.

The capsized fishing boat was towed to Beer by the crew of the independent Sidmouth lifeboat.

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.