Exmouth RNLI’s cold water swimming warning after sailboat rescue

PUBLISHED: 16:03 25 May 2017 | UPDATED: 16:03 25 May 2017

RNLI towing a sailboat back to Mamhead Slipway

RNLI towing a sailboat back to Mamhead Slipway


Lifeboat volunteers have helped two men in difficulty on a sailboat near Exmouth today (Thursday, May 25).

Inshore lifeboat George Bearman II was launched at around noon after a passing canoeist caught sight of sails flapping and came ashore to phone 999.

An RNLI crew towed the 22-foot sailboat, which had run out of fuel, to Mamhead Slipway for recovery.

An Exmouth RNLI spokesman said ‘it was clear’ one of the men had been in the water to retrieve the rudder.

Helm Guy Munnings has urged people to ‘fight the instinct’ to swim in the cold sea water.

He said: “The sea is still very cold at this time of year and ending up in the water with sudden immersion can cause cold water shock, triggering an instinctive reaction to gasp and swim hard.

“We would recommend people to lie back, opening your body up and float until breathing regulates.

“Then call for help. Make sure you have means of communication and suitable safety equipment before you set off.”

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