Alarm raised for paddleboarder 'in distress' on Exe

Exmouth RNLI Inshore Lifeboat

Exmouth RNLI Inshore Lifeboat speeds away after being launched - Credit: Chris Sims / RNLI

Exmouth RNLI volunteers were called on to search for a paddleboarder who it was feared was in distress in the River Exe.

HM Coastguard tasked the town's Inshore Lifeboat D-805 George Bearman II following a report by a member of public at 6.38pm on Tuesday, September 7, of a paddleboarder apparently in difficulty, struggling, out of control and caught in a strong current by the River Exe Estuary.

The charity’s lifeboat launched at 7.05pm, under the command of helm Guy Munnings and volunteer crew Sarah Pennicard and Geoff Mills. Other volunteers helping with the emergency were Tim Barnes, Ed Steele, Roger Jackson, Karl Halford, and John Dinsdale.

The lifesavers made their way to the last known position of the casualty on the northern side of Dawlish Warren in amongst moorings on the River Exe where they commenced a systematic search of the area.

Further information was received by a member of the public at 7.31pm that the paddleboarder was seen being picked up by a vessel and taken to shore near Mamhead Slipway and at 7.47pm HM Coastguard stood down the lifeboat from the tasking.

The lifesavers returned to Exmouth RNLI lifeboat station where the lifeboat was made ready for service a short time later.

Stand-up paddleboarding is one of the fastest growing watersports. Whether it’s on an inflatable paddleboard or a solid one, it is a great way to have fun on the water and for to get fit. It can improve overall fitness, particularly core body strength.

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Whether you are a complete paddleboarding beginner or more experienced, the RNLI have extensive safety advice for all paddleboarders that can be found here : https://rnli.org/safety/choose-your-activity/stand-up-paddle-boarding

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