Articles Busy Sunday for Exmouth RNLI lifesavers

Busy Sunday for Exmouth RNLI lifesavers

Busy Sunday for Exmouth RNLI lifesavers

Exmouth RNLI volunteers rescued three from the water in two separate incidents yesterday.

At shortly after 2pm yesterday 3 July 2022 the volunteer lifesavers on Exmouth RNLI All Weather Lifeboat 13-03 R & J Welburn were on exercise approximately half a mile off the River Otter Estuary, Budleigh Salterton when they picked up a radio message for assistance.

Retired Exmouth RNLI lifeboat crew member, Simon Turl, was sailing off Budleigh Salterton when he heard a faint cry for help. On investigation he saw a canoeist some distance from him who had capsized and was struggling in the water. Mr Turl immediately notified H.M. Coastguard by radio and the Exmouth RNLI lifeboat crew, that were close by, intercepted the call and sped to the location to give aid.

The volunteer lifesavers, led by Deputy Coxswain, Andrew Stott, Mechanic Roy Stott and crew Ed Thomas, Ed Steele and Harry Griffin quickly located the casualty within minutes. He had been in the water for some time, his canoe was waterlogged, he had no lifejacket or means of communication and was being rapidly swept out to sea by a strong current.

The crew took him on board the lifeboat, retrieved his canoe and took both to the safety of Budleigh Salterton beach. The casualty, a male in his late 40’s was uninjured and did not require medical attention.

Exmouth RNLI volunteer Lifeboat Mechanic on the tasking, Roy Stott, said “This gentleman was extremely lucky. He had been in the water for some time with no buoyancy aid, his canoe was waterlogged, he had no means of communication and he was being swept out to sea. If it wasn’t for the sharp observation and swift action by Simon Turl I believe the outcome could have been far more serious. I would urge anyone taking to the water to please ensure you have proper safety equipment including a lifejacket or proper buoyancy aid, and a means of communication, either a mobile phone or marine radio.”

The all weather lifeboat crew were back on service and able to continue their exercise by 2.40pm that day.  

Exmouth All Weather Lifeboat 13-03 R & J Welburn in action  Credit : John Thorogood / RNLI

On completion of their exercise the same crew had returned to Exmouth Marina when at 6.06pm two paddleboarders were seen in difficulty on the River Exe by the off duty Exmouth RNLI Coxswain, Steve Hockings-Thompson.  He notified the crew of all weather lifeboat of the incident and two RNLI lifesavers, Harry Griffin and Ed Thomas, took to the boarding boat to give assistance.

Two females, both in their early 20’s, were on their first experience of paddleboarding between buoys 11 and 13 on the river and were unable to make progress. Neither were equipped with buoyancy aids.   

The crew assessed the situation, took both casualties on board and to the safety of Exmouth Marina. Neither were injured or required medical treatment and the volunteer RNLI crew were back ready for service at 6.26pm.  

RNLI Water Safety advice can be found here : https://rnli.org/safety/choose-your-activity/kayaking-and-canoeing#

Author: ian_taylor@rnli.org.uk