Fireworks weekend proved to be busy for Exmouth RNLI volunteers
Crew volunteers from Exmouth RNLI were called out twice within 24 hours on 6 November. On Friday 4 November, the same 12 volunteers had helped Exmouth Round Table with a bucket collection at the annual town’s Fireworks display.
Inshore lifeboat George Bearman launched at 1.05am on 6 November following a call to the UK Coastguard reporting a sighting of six flares near Topsham. Crew volunteers searched the tidal limit of the river Exe, towards the M5 motorway bridge in the dark, for approximately one and a half hours. At the same time, Exmouth Coastguard Rescue Team searched along the shore for signs of people in distress. With no further sightings, the volunteers returned to the station and the inshore lifeboat was ready for service again at 2.25am.
Deputy Launching Authority, Freddie Woodcock advises:
‘We cannot stress enough the misuse of using flares in a non-distress situation. Not only is it an offence to activate flares in a non-distress situation, it also could put our Crew volunteers at risk. If sightings of flares are reported to the Coastguard, we will ALWAYS assume it’s for real. Please don’t put our Crews’ lives in danger to respond to what they think might be a genuine cry for help.’
At 2.55pm, George Bearman launched again following a call to UK Coastguard reporting a two men in difficulty in the river Exe. The men were seen holding on to a yacht near Starcross after the tender they were in had broken down during a short passage to their moored RIB (rigid inflatable boat). Crew volunteers were on scene within minutes and towed the men and their dog to the mooring nearby, to safety.
Crew volunteers held a bucket collect at the town’s annual Fireworks display, organised by Exmouth Round Table.