Exmouth RNLI in seven-hour search for people swept out to sea

PUBLISHED: 15:45 04 November 2019 | UPDATED: 15:48 04 November 2019

Exmouth RNLI Lifeboat R & J Welburn launches to assist in the search. Picture: Chris Sims/RNLI

Exmouth RNLI Lifeboat R & J Welburn launches to assist in the search. Picture: Chris Sims/RNLI


Volunteer lifesavers took part in a seven hour manhunt for two people swept out to sea.

Exmouth RNLI's all weather lifeboat R and J Welburn was called out by HM Coastguard at around 4pm on Sunday (November 3) after two people were taken into the sea at Bridport, Dorset.

Led by coxswain Steve Hockings-Thompson, the lifeboat crew conducted several searches of the area.

They were helped by Lyme Regis RNLI as well as helicopters from the coastguard, Dorset Police and a Portuguese naval frigate.

A woman was recovered from the sea and taken to hospital.

Exmouth RNLI and other agencies continued a search for a man in his twenties until R and J Welburn was stood down shortly after 11pm.

The lifeboat crew was set to resume the search on Monday (November 4) morning but were stood down after being informed by Dorset Police the body of a man was found on Hive Beach, Dorset.

The man's family has been informed and the coroner has been notified.

Steve Hockings-Thompson said: "This was a difficult operation in severe weather and our volunteer crew worked hard over several hours in extreme conditions alongside our multi agency partners on this search and rescue task.

"Recently several severe weather alerts, including a yellow warning, about heavy rain, strong winds and rough tides have been issued.

"If you are walking along the beach it is vital to always be well clear of the waters edge especially when the sea is rough and the waves high."

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