Exmouth RNLI called out three times after boats run aground

PUBLISHED: 15:07 04 July 2017 | UPDATED: 15:07 04 July 2017

The George Bearman II, Exmouth RNLI's inshore lifeboat

The George Bearman II, Exmouth RNLI's inshore lifeboat

Mike Powell

Exmouth RNLI volunteers were called three times out to help two Bayliner boats in difficulty on Sunday, July 2.

Lifeboat volunteers responded to a 999 call at around 5.45pm after reports of a 21-foot Bayliner stuck in the River Exe.

Four adults and two children were on board the boat which had run aground on mudflats near Topsham.

The d-class George Bearman II was launched at around 5.45pm but couldn’t get close enough to rescue.

A spokesman for Exmouth RNLI said: “Due to the ebbing tide and sticky mud, the volunteers were only able to position George Bearman II 15 metres from the casualties’ location.

“Crew volunteers checked on their welfare, handed over bottled water and it was agreed to launch again to attempt rescue in a rising tide.”

At around 9pm, a different crew from Exmouth launched to check on the casualties’ welfare in daylight.

Helm Guy Munnings said: “When we reached the location at around 9.30pm, there was still not enough water in the River Exe to tow the vessel off without damage.

“The casualties were equipped suitably, had warm clothing and were happy to wait a bit longer for assistance.

“At 11pm, once the tide had lifted, we towed them towards Starcross and then escorted them to Exmouth Marina where they made way under their own steam.”

Earlier that day, Exmouth RNLI were tasked to help an 18-foot Bayliner in difficulty in the River Clyst.

At the time the lifeboat station had been transformed into a theatre for a performance by Mikron Theatre Company meaning the D-class lifeboat George Bearman II,a long with the Shannon-class R and J Welburn, was already on the ramp.

On arrival, crew volunteers found the vessel further upstream, near Topsham. The casualties had managed to push themselves to safety after their 18-foot Bayliner ran aground.

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