Exmouth RNLI rescue solo sailor aground at Rodney Bay
On 13 July, inshore lifeboat George Bearman II launched at 5pm to a solo sailor on board a 20′ sailing boat aground at Rodney Bay.
Crew were on scene within three minutes and discovered a passer-by in the water trying to hold the boat off rocks, who was at risk of injury himself. A Crew volunteer went on board the casualty vessel, attached a tow line and the D class lifeboat pulled the casualty clear off the lee shore. The engine was started and George Bearman II escorted the man to Exmouth Marina, to safety. The Casualty had very low fuel, no lifejacket, neither safety equipment nor navigational charts and seemed to have limited knowledge of both sailing and the local area.
Crew volunteers gave him safety advice and suggested not to continue with his passage from Plymouth to Portsmouth that evening.
Deputy Launching Authority Rick Newcombe commented:
‘A brisk breeze and waves exposed the shore. The Crew volunteers performed a classic recovery and rescue carried out with speed and fine seamanship. The Skipper had believed Rodney bay to be a safe anchorage, in the prevailing conditions force 3/4 southerly, it was in fact a dangerous lee shore.’
George Bearman II was ready for service again at 6pm.
Helm, David Preece commented:
‘People going to sea really should think about the ‘what ifs’. If things go wrong and you don’t have suitable equipment, then things can go very wrong, very quickly. You need to be prepared for every eventuality and have the right training, lifesaving equipment and communications before setting off, whether it be on a yacht or kayak.’