Plymouth and Salcombe RNLI volunteers rescue mother and daughter and their dogs

Lifeboats News Release

Plymouth inshore lifeboat (ILB) Annabel E Jones launched on service to assist Salcombe all-weather lifeboat (ALB) The Baltic Exchange with extracting two casualties and their dogs after getting cut off by the tide on the River Erme near Mothecombe at around 2.30pm on Sunday (27 February).

The daughter had originally raised the alarm, using her mobile phone to call the Coastguard, when they realised they were stuck on rocks and with no means of escape.

First on the scene, using his knowledge of the river and with the prevailing sea conditions at the time, Salcombe’s coxswain requested the Coastguard task the inshore lifeboat from Plymouth to assist in the rescue of the two casualties.

Plymouth’s volunteer crew Alex, Neil and Sam arrived on scene and the decision was made that the Y boat - a smaller inflatable boat kept onboard the ALB - would enable them better access through the rocks to reach the casualties, using the Plymouth ILB as cover.

In rough seas the two crew members did exceptionally well in an increasing swell making two trips from scene to shore and getting both casualties to the safety of the beach.

Whilst the rescue was in progress a nearby kayaker capsized in the breakers on the Erme bar, with the Plymouth ILB retrieving him from the water and transferring him to the Salcombe ALB.

The grateful casualties were taken to Mothecombe beach where Yealm Coastguard rescue teams were waiting. The volunteer lifeboat crew returned to their respective stations having completed a successful joint rescue in trying conditions.

The RNLI's safety advice includes:

  • If you get into difficulty at sea dial 999 or 112 and ask for the Coastguard.
  • If you find yourself in the water unexpectedly, fight your instincts and float until the effects of cold water shock pass.
  • Always take a means of calling for help.
  • Check the weather and tide times.
  • Know what to do – visit RNLI.org/safety.
Plymouth ILB crew providing cover for Salcombe's Y boat during the rescue of a mother and daughter cut off by the tide

John Baldry

Plymouth ILB crew providing cover for Salcombe's Y boat during the rescue of a mother and daughter cut off by the tide
Plymouth ILB crew and Salcombe ALB crew working together during rescue on River Erme

John Baldry

Plymouth ILB crew and Salcombe ALB crew working together during rescue on River Erme
Plymouth ILB lifeboat crew during rescue of mother and daughter on River Erme

John Baldry

Plymouth ILB lifeboat crew during rescue of mother and daughter on River Erme

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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