Exmouth RNLI rescue wheelchair woman from river Exe
Both Exmouth lifeboats were tasked by Portland Coastguard at 7.15pm on 9 July, after reports from the public that a wheelchair user had disappeared after swimming in the river Exe.
Exmouth RNLI volunteers were on a weekly exercise aboard Shannon class lifeboat R and J Welburn, which launched at 6.15pm. Portland Coastguard tasked inshore lifeboat George Bearman to locate a missing woman in the river Exe. Since it had been reported that the woman had left her wheelchair at the slipway in Topsham, had entered the water fully clothed to take a swim and had disappeared, Deputy Launching Authority on duty, Peter Thomas took the decision to divert R and J Welburn from exercise, to standby in the estuary.
Three extra volunteers were on the water aboard the inshore lifeboat within three minutes and sped towards Topsham. The casualty was located and George Bearman was on scene at 7.40pm. The casualty was recovered, still in a conscious state, to a pontoon in Topsham where a Paramedic arrived shortly afterwards. The 22 year old woman was checked over and was taken to Royal Devon and Exeter hospital by ambulance as a precaution, as she was very cold.