Exmouth: quick-thinking 999 call saves disabled woman

PUBLISHED: 15:05 11 July 2014 | UPDATED: 16:06 11 July 2014

HM Coastguard

HM Coastguard

Archant

A disabled woman who went missing in the water after swimming near Topsham was found ‘cold but conscious’ by the emergency services.

The RNLI inshore lifeboat George Bearman. File photo. The RNLI inshore lifeboat George Bearman. File photo.

Exmouth coastguard has praised a quick-thinking member of the public who spotted a disabled woman in difficulty in the water and raised the alarm.

The coastguard team and Exmouth RNLI on Wednesday joined the search for a wheelchair-bound woman who went missing while swimming in the river Exe, at Topsham.

Exmouth coastguard said the outcome for the woman, who was found conscious but cold, could have been worse if the public had not intervened.

Paul Howell, Exmouth coastguard station officer, said: “Exmouth coastguard would like to thank the member of public who spotted the female entering the water and dialled 999 immediately.

“Had it not been for his prompt actions, this incident could have had a much poorer outcome.”

The emergency services were called to a small slipway at Topsham after a fully-clothed young woman in a wheelchair was seen entering the water.

The coastguard rescue helicopter from Portland and police helicopter were also tasked to assist in the search.

The 22-year-old woman had been in the water for around 45 minutes before she was found by Exmouth RNLI inshore lifeboat crew, a mile down the river at Riversmeet.

The casualty was treated on dry land by paramedics before being taken to the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital by ambulance.

Exmouth RNLI volunteers abandoned an all-weather lifeboat exercise to join in the search.

An RNLI spokeswoman said: “Three extra volunteers were on the water aboard the inshore lifeboat within three minutes and sped towards Topsham.

“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.”

Other News Stories

With 31 Go Ape adventures nationwide, there are plenty of venues to enjoy new challenges.

Read more
14:13

Residents are being urged to help keep A&E free for emergencies over the bank holiday.

Read more

The Bishop of Crediton led a minute’s silence in Exmouth to remember the 22 victims killed in the Manchester concert bombing on Monday evening.

Read more

A fire crew was called out to reports of a vehicle fire in Exmouth this afternoon (Friday, May 26).

Read more
12:04

Fire crews were called out this morning to reports of a chimney fire.

Read more

A stuffed mammoth, a life-sized My Little Pony and a fake horse’s head - a self-storage provider surveyed its customers to find out the weird and wonderful items that have been left behind on its premises over the years.

Read more
10:29

An illustrator, who started balancing stones while visiting Exmouth, is to rock this year’s art trail.

Read more

Staff at a school for children with special needs are celebrating after government inspectors gave them a positive report.

Read more
06:30

A General Election hustings is being held in Exmouth.

Read more
Yesterday, 16:03

Lifeboat volunteers have helped two men in difficulty on a sailboat near Exmouth today (Thursday, May 25).

Read more

Local Weather

Sunny

Sunny

max temp: 20°C

min temp: 14°C

Most Read News

Useful Links

Advertise in the Paper
Submit a Story
Subscriptions Order
Competitions
Photo Orders
Family notices
iwitness24
Google Plus
Facebook
Twitter
Reader Travel


Read Online

Image
Read the Exmouth Journal e-edition E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Local business directory

Exmouth's trusted business finder

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists


Find planning applications