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Exmouth RNLI respond to emergency flares

Lifeboats News Release

Exmouth RNLI’s volunteer lifesavers were tasked to respond to multiple reports of red flares seen in the River Exe area last night.

RNLI/Chris Sims

Exmouth RNLI inshore lifeboat launches in response to the emergency.

At 10.32pm on Saturday 24th June 2023, H.M. Coastguard tasked the volunteer crew of Exmouth RNLI inshore lifeboat D-805 George Bearman II to conduct a search in the area of Starcross and the River Exe following numerous sightings of red distress flares in that vicinity. The launch was authorised by Deputy Launch Authority, Hedley Saunders.

The lifeboat, crewed by the charity’s volunteers, Harry Griffin, James Edge and Mark Cockman, launched at 10.40pm and made best speed to the location where they commenced a thorough search in the vicinity for any vessels or persons in distress. The search included the Dawlish Warren coastline, from Cockwood Harbour to the River Exe up to no 18 buoy and from the River Exe Café to Starcross Ferry pontoon.

Following a comprehensive search with nothing being found and the RNLI volunteers satisfied that no one was at risk or in danger, H.M. Coastguard stood down the operation at 11.46pm that day. The lifeboat returned to Exmouth RNLI Lifeboat Station where it was back on service at 00.33am today.

Other Exmouth RNLI volunteers involved in the incident were Tractor Driver, David Preece, Head Launcher, Mark Sansom with shorecrew Paul Viner and shorecrew Jake Richards and John Dinsdale.

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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