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

Yesterday, 14:38

Work on the long-awaited cycle track across The Green in Budleigh Salterton is finally set to get under way later this year.

Read more
Thu, 11:13
Kirk Westaway, who has reached the international grand final of the San Pellegrino Young Chef competition.

An Exmouth chef, who now plies his trade in Singapore, is to take on the world’s best in a prestigious competition.

Read more
Thu, 08:47
Labour candidate Steve Race

Charity campaigner and former Red Cross worker Steve Race has been picked by Labour to contest the East Devon seat in May’s General Election.

Read more
Thu, 08:44
Councillor Claire Wright

The pre-election war of words has begun after independent candidate Claire Wright accused incumbent Tory MP Hugo Swire of ‘not standing up’ for East Devon.

Read more

Local Weather

Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 10°C

min temp: 5°C

Most Read News

Advertise in the Paper
Submit a Story
Subscriptions Order
Competitions
Photo Orders
Family notices
iwitness24
Google Plus
Facebook
Twitter
Family Notices 24

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Exmouth Journal e-edition today E-edition



Exmouth's trusted business finder