Motor boat rescued after engine fire, thanks to emergency flares

PUBLISHED: 10:24 14 September 2020 | UPDATED: 10:24 14 September 2020

Exmouth Inshore Lifeboat launches to the rescu. Picture: Exmouth RNLI

Exmouth Inshore Lifeboat launches to the rescu. Picture: Exmouth RNLI


A 21-foot motor boat which had lost power due to an engine fire was rescued by Exmouth RNLI’s volunteer crew on Sunday (September 13).

Shortly before 1.55pm, the coastguard tasked the all-weather lifeboat Bridie O’Shea after reports of red and white flares being seen between two and five miles off Orcombe Point, Exmouth.

Under the command of deputy coxwain Roy Stott and crew members Andy Stott, Robert Thompson, Dave Precce, Scott Ranft and James Edge, the lifeboat sped to the last reported sighting of the flares.

The crew found a 21-foot Colvic motor boat and the single occupant of the vessel confirmed he was the source of the emergency flares, and reported an engine fire that he managed to extinguish before the lifeboat’s arrival.

However, the fire had caused a loss of power. The lifeboat crew towed the boat to safety at Brixham.

Having ensured the safety of the damaged boat, Bridie O’Shea returned to Exmouth.

Roy Stott, deputy coxswain of Exmouth RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat, said “It’s always important for members of the public not to think twice about contacting HM Coastguard if they notice someone they think is in trouble on the water.

“In this case, the coastguard was alerted numerous times to reports of flares being seen out to sea.

“We were fortunate enough to be able to act swiftly on that information and locate the vessel that had lost all engine and electrical power due to a fire on board.

“It’s always good advice when heading out to sea to ensure that you have multiple means of communication in case of emergency, and myself and my crew were pleased to assist in this successful rescue.”

At the same time, the inshore lifeboat – Peggy-D – was launched after the coastguard received ‘numerous’ calls from members of the public reporting people in the sea off Devon Cliffs.

The Exmouth inshore lifeboat headed to the area of the sightings but was stood down shortly afterwards when it was clear the individuals were swimmers who did not need help.

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