Lifeboat moved onto Exmouth beach due ‘hole’ at base of ramp

PUBLISHED: 12:00 15 April 2018

One of RNLI Exmouth's lifeboats was recently placed on the beach after extreme weather caused sand displacement. Picture by Exmouth RNLI.

One of RNLI Exmouth's lifeboats was recently placed on the beach after extreme weather caused sand displacement. Picture by Exmouth RNLI.

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Exmouth RNLI has thanked volunteers for their efforts in ‘a challenging week’ which saw one of its lifeboats moved onto the beach due to the adverse effects of Storm Emma.

Contractors filling in sand on Exmouth beach after it was displaced by extreme weather. Picture by Exmouth RNLI.Contractors filling in sand on Exmouth beach after it was displaced by extreme weather. Picture by Exmouth RNLI.

The team have reported the Shannon-class vessel is safely back in the boathouse after being temporarily held on the beach for safety reasons.

Storm Emma’s extreme weather caused huge amounts of sand to be displaced, reducing levels on some of East Devon’s beaches by two to three metres.

One area affected was the bottom of Exmouth’s lifeboat launch ramp, which ended up with a one-metre drop at the end due to a ‘hole’ where the sand would usually be.

This rendered the use of the ramp by both lifeboats ‘impossible without severe damage’ and risking the ‘safety and wellbeing of volunteers’, which the RNLI was not prepared to do.

Operations manager Kevin Riley said: “After a challenging week for our station, the hole was filled in by contractors on Friday, April 6.

“The area at the bottom of our ramp will continue to be assessed, as this is currently a short-term solution and RNLI staff are considering long-term options.

“Both lifeboats and their launching systems are now back in the boathouse, ready to launch at any time, when necessary.

“I’d like to thank all the station volunteers involved for their extra time and dedication to ensure both lifeboats were kept available for service during this time.

“Thanks also to members of the public for their patience and those who approached us with their kind words of support.”

People in Exmouth took to social media last week querying why the lifeboat was in the unusual spot, prompting an explanation on the RNLI’s Exmouth page.

A spokesman said the extreme weather brought by Storm Emma and the ‘Beast from the East’ displaced large quantities of sand around East Devon’s beaches, with levels in some places dropping by metres.

The Shannon-class lifeboat was held on the beach adjacent to the station so that both lifeboats could remain fully operational.

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