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Exmouth RNLI called to windsurfers in difficulty

Lifeboats News Release

Exmouth RNLI volunteer lifesavers were called to a report of two windsurfers with equipment failure on the River Exe yesterday.

RNLI/John Thorogood

Exmouth Inshore Lifeboat heading to the scene.

At 11.30am Sunday 30 October 2022, whilst returning from an exercise, the crew of Exmouth RNLI inshore lifeboat D-805 George Bearman II were alerted to two windsurfers in distress on the area of the River Exe known as the Duck Pond, Exmouth.

The volunteer lifesavers, Helm, Henry Mock and crew Harry Griffin and Ed Steele were quickly on the scene with the casualties to assess the situation. They discovered that the casualties had managed to get themselves aboard a moored yacht and that one of them had already been assisted ashore by a passing kayaker.

The second casualty was taken on board the lifeboat and to the safety of shore where both casualties were treated for cold. The lifeboat crew were assisted by Exmouth Coastguard Rescue Team.

Once satisfied that the casualties had recovered and were safe and well, the crew returned to the water and recovered their equipment to remove any risk to other water users.

Exmouth RNLI Inshore Lifeboat Helm, Henry Mock, said “It’s always good advice for water users to check their equipment before going out on the water to ensure it is undamaged, sound and safe to use. The sea and wind conditions were strong and unpredictable yesterday and in that environment equipment is put under greater strain and more prone to failure. We were happy to help in this rescue and pleased it had a satisfactory outcome.”

On completion of the rescue the RNLI crew returned to Exmouth Lifeboat Station where the lifeboat was back on service ready for tasking at 12.40pm.

Other Exmouth RNLI crew involved were :

Tractor Driver, Robert Thompson

Head Launcher : Rory Carrig

Shore Crew : John Dinsdale and Chris Angell

The RNLI have produced a handy printout that provides detailed advice on surfsport safety. It can be downloaded from here:

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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 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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