Windy weather sees Exmouth RNLI launch to four men thrown into the sea after their boat flips over.
Exmouth RNLI were tasked by Brixham Coastguards at 4.29pm on Sunday 23 October, after members of the public witnessed a seven metre rigid inflatable boat (RIB) with four persons on board, flip over at the sandbar in Exmouth.
The casualties were all thrown into the rough seas but managed to swim to their overturned boat and climb onto the hull. The inshore lifeboat George Bearman was quickly launched but the conditions were such that the lifeboat was nearly working to its limits. The All Weather lifeboat Margaret Jean was also launched to stand by and assist in case things deteriorated further.
The volunteer crew of the inshore lifeboat were able to retrieve the men from the upturned craft, but due to the large waves breaking over the stricken vessel, this had to be done one by one with the casualties swimming to the lifeboat. The volunteer crew then returned the casualties to shore to be checked over by a waiting ambulance crew.
Inshore lifeboat Helmsman Roger Jackson said: “It was as rough a sea as we had launched into for quite some time, conditions off the bar were highly treacherous with steep and confused seas with waves of up to three metres at times.”
The upturned boat was unable to be retrieved, as conditions were too dangerous.