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, 06:30

Pupils from Littleham Primary School were told about the 22,888 Roman coin hoard discovered in Seaton, 2013, before making their own.

Read more
Saturday, January 21, 2017

Budleigh Salterton traders are looking for someone to sponsor one of two new proposed life-saving devices in the town.

Read more
Saturday, January 21, 2017

A former Exmouth nurse is hoping a book of poems she has written over her lifetime will raise funds for a blood cancer charity.

Read more
Friday, January 20, 2017

It’s ‘Flashback Friday’ and we found these pictures of Topsham station in the Exmouth Journal archives.

Read more
Friday, January 20, 2017

Mindless vandals sprayed graffiti on a live animal on a farm near Exmouth.

Read more
Friday, January 20, 2017

Devon saw an increase in Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) claimants during December – with East Devon recording the highest increase of any district.

Read more
Friday, January 20, 2017

A family has publicly thanked Devon Air Ambulance paramedics for saving their eight-year-old son’s life after his scooter tore his windpipe in a freak accident on Exmouth seafront.

Read more
Thursday, January 19, 2017

The number of recorded crimes in three out of four Exmouth neighbourhoods rose year-on-year in 2016, according to figures released by Devon and Cornwall Police.

Read more
Thursday, January 19, 2017

County planners have been asked to approve the long-awaited completion of Dinan Way at a meeting next Wednesday (January 25).

Read more
Thursday, January 19, 2017

The amount claimed in expenses by East Devon MP Sir Hugo Swire during the last financial year has been revealed.

Read more

Local Weather

Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 5°C

min temp: 2°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