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Busy day for Exmouth RNLI lifesavers

Lifeboats News Release

Exmouth RNLI volunteers were tasked to a vessel in trouble on the River Exe this afternoon followed by a report of a paddleboarder in difficulty near Exmouth Marina this evening.

RNLI/John Thorogood

Exmouth inshore lifeboat in action.

At 1.21pm today Monday 18th September 2023, H.M. Coastguard paged Exmouth RNLI inshore lifeboat D-805 George Bearman II and requested they attend to a 5 metre rib reportedly stuck in mud on the River Exe with five persons on board.

The charity’s lifeboat, commanded by Helm, Charles Swales, with crew volunteers Ed Thomas and Ed Steele, launched at 1.29pm and made towards the position of the casualty vessel.

At 1.50pm the lifesavers located the boat on the River Exe just south of Turf Locks. They assessed the situation and requested the assistance of Exmouth RNLI all weather lifeboat 13-03 R & J Welburn to transport a specialist team from the Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Service to the scene in order to assist extraction of the casualties.

The all weather lifeboat was crewed by Andy Stott, Roy Stott, Mark Cockman, Mark Champion, Geoff Mills and Mark Sansom.

Following a lengthy, difficult and complex multi agency operation, all five casualties were successfully recovered safely and H.M. Coastguard stood down the RNLI lifesaving crews at 6.25pm. No one was injured or required medical treatment.

Then at 7.35pm this evening the crew of the Exmouth RNLI inshore lifeboat received reports of a paddleboarder in distress at the entrance to Exmouth Marina. They immediately sped to the scene and were assisted by an H.M. Coastguard Rescue Team.

The crew, Helm Guy Munnings, and crew Ed Thomas and Ed Steele, conducted a thorough search of the area and located a paddleboarder in the locality who had self-recovered and did not require any assistance. Satisfied that they had identified the paddleboarder and he was safe and well, the lifesavers were stood down by HM Coastguard shortly afterwards.

Other RNLI volunteers involved in the launches were Tractor Drivers, Robert Thompson and Henry Mock, Head Launchers, Paul Viner and Harry Griffin and shore crew Henry Thomas, Chris Angell, Ted Wignall, Jake Butt, Dougie Wright and Tim Thorn.

RNLI/Mark Cockman

Joint agencies involved in the complex rescue

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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