Exmouth: quick-thinking 999 call saves disabled woman

15:05 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

12 minutes ago

A new housing development on the edge of Budleigh Salterton could be named after a ‘pillar of the community’.

Read more
06:30

An Exmouth scout group is to receive a financial boost, thanks to a new district council initiative.

Read more
Yesterday, 12:30

Board members of Rolle Exmouth Ltd (REL) last week said goodbye to the former college campus they had fought tirelessly to preserve for future generations.

Read more
Yesterday, 10:21

A dog which was last seen running into the sea on Exmouth beach is still missing.

Read more
Yesterday, 10:15

Fire crews were called to attend a road traffic collision in Clyst St George.

Read more
Yesterday, 06:30

A series of information events will bring Exmouth residents up to speed with changes to recycling collections in the town.

Read more
Thu, 18:30

Exmouth Cares – the charity shop behind Mona Island, Exeter Road which supports the local Alzheimer’s group – is holding a Christmas event this Saturday (December 10), 10am to 4pm.

Read more
Thu, 15:41

Darren Legge, aged 49, from Exmouth, has been jailed for attacking a woman outside a pub

Read more
Thu, 14:27

A jealous ex boyfriend has been ordered to pay compensation to a victim who he attacked after learning he had kissed his former partner.

Read more
Thu, 13:04

Exmouth lifeboat volunteers were called out to help a fisherman who lost his oar yesterday afternoon.

Read more

Local Weather

Rain

Rain

max temp: 13°C

min temp: 6°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

Family Notices 24

Read Online

Image
Read the Exmouth Journal e-edition E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

Local business directory

Exmouth's trusted business finder

Show Job Lists


Find planning applications