Exmouth RNLI rescue two men on yacht aground as fog rolls in
Inshore lifeboat George Bearman II launched at 6.57pm on 20 May following a call to the UK Coastguard concerning a yacht aground on Pole Sands, half a mile west of Exmouth lifeboat station.
Crew volunteers were on scene within five minutes, as fog was rolling in. They discovered two men on board a 17’ yacht which had minimal fuel, attempting to enter the river Exe. A tow was established and casualties were taken to safety at Cockwood.
Crew volunteer, Guy Munnings said:
‘We gave the casualties some safety advice as neither the men were wearing lifejackets, although there was a single buoyancy aid stored on board. A VHF radio was on board, yet the Coastguard responded to 999 calls from a concerned member of the public.’
Exmouth RNLI Community Safety Officer, Dave Littlefield commented:
‘Before setting sail, ensure that you have carried out all your pre-planning for a safe voyage. When sailing off Exmouth and the River Exe, please ensure that you have an up to date tide listing for the area. This will give an indication of how the tide is flowing. The Pole Sands are a considerable length so please keep clear and sail in the deeper water. Don’t try and cross it as the tide is falling as your keel will dig in and your yacht will not only be stuck but can fall sideways.
‘Use a local chart to ascertain the safe areas to navigate through, plus ensure that you have a VHF maritime radio using channel 16 when in difficulty. Life Jackets are a must, on the vessel, you should be wearing a well-maintained life jacket at all times.’