Exmouth lifeboat crew rescues man in River Exe

PUBLISHED: 12:55 13 February 2017 | UPDATED: 12:55 13 February 2017

George Bearman II recovery after rescuing man in river Exe

George Bearman II recovery after rescuing man in river Exe


Exmouth’s inshore lifeboat was called out on Sunday (February 12) to help a man swimming in the River Exe.

The RNLI’s George Bearman II was launched at around 6.15pm after a call from a VHF radio to the coastguard from a man aboard a six and a half metre yacht anchored in Topsham Quay.

An Exmouth RNLI spokesman said the man had swam out around 50 metres in the dark and cold conditions as he was concerned for the safety of his vessel.

Once located, lifeboat volunteers recovered the man to the quay and he was taken to Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital for treatment by paramedics.

The yacht was secured at Topsham Quay before volunteers returned to the station at 8pm.

Peter Williams, an RNLI community safety officer, said: “The decision to swim out to a boat in the dark and at this time of year is at best unwise and at worst extremely fool-hardy.

“The water temperature is around 10 degrees - cold water shock and hypothermia are very real dangers.

“This gentlemen is very lucky he managed to reach his vessel and summon assistance from the RNLI.”

The inshore lifeboat George Bearman II had previously been launched at around 1pm to help two men on a leisure boat which had run aground.

Lifeboat volunteers were responding following calls to the coastguard concerning the eight-metre vessel at the entrance of the River Exe.

An Exmouth RNLI spokesman said: “The casualties were on their way back from Dartmouth, into the river on a falling tide when they found themselves in difficulty. “Volunteers reached them within five minutes and discovered the casualties were happy to wait for the rising tide.

“One Crew volunteer went on board to give local advice and check their VHF radio was tuned in correctly.”

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