Wheelchair user rescued from River Exe

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

Thursday, July 10, 2014
9:41 AM

A 22-year-old wheelchair user has been rescued from the River Exe by lifeboat crews.

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Exmouth RNLI were tasked at 7.15pm yesterday, after reports that the casualty, a woman, had disappeared while swimming in the river, having left her wheelchair on a slipway in Topsham, and entered the river fully clothed.

The woman was located, approximately a mile down the river adjacent to Riversmeet, and the inshore lifeboat George Bearman was on the scene at 7.40pm.

The woman was recovered, still in a conscious state, to a pontoon in Topsham where a paramedic arrived shortly afterwards.

She was checked over, and was taken to the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital by ambulance as a precaution, as she was said to be very cold.

Exmouth Coastguard and Devon and Cornwall Police also attended the incident, and assisted with removing the woman from the water, and the Exmouth RNLI offshore lifeboat R and J Welburn, which had been on exercise, was posted down the river on standby.

Coastguard and police helicopters also assisted with the search.

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

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

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