Exmouth schoolgirl’s heroics

A BRAVE schoolgirl who saved her friend from drowning, two bystanders and three volunteer lifeboatmen have been honoured for their heroics.

A BRAVE schoolgirl who saved her friend from drowning, two bystanders and three volunteer lifeboatmen have been honoured for their heroics.

In October, Hannah Woolacott, 16, and Charlotte Wright, 15, both from Exeter, were rescued from the sea off Dawlish Warren by the inshore lifeboat crew after the pair were swept off the sea wall in a freak accident when walking along the sea wall after missing their train.

Lifeboat helmsman Giles White said the girls’ lives were saved by the Exmouth volunteer crew with just seconds to spare.

The lifeboatmen battled three-metre high waves and failing light to rescue the girls – Charlotte was semi-conscious and being held up by Hannah.


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Now Hannah, who kept her friend afloat in the water before help arrived, two young men on shore that threw flotation devices and three boatmen, Giles White, Andy Smith, and Andy Williams, have received a letter of commendation.

Andy Williams, 31, joined the crew only 11 months ago and said: “I’d always wanted to be a lifeboatman.

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“It has been one of the most satisfying things I have ever done and to receive this letter of commendation is very humbling, not just for me, but for all volunteer crew members. “

Giles White said: “It was one of the most challenging rescues I have been on and one that will stand out in my mind for the rest of my life.”

Coxwain Tim Mock, said: “It’s great to receive some good news and it is very well-deserved for the three Exmouth lifeboatmen concerned. We have a good team here at Exmouth, but are always on the lookout for new volunteers, not just as crew, but as shore helpers too. I would welcome any initial enquires either by phone or email.”

l For further information on visits or becoming a volunteer please contact the boathouse on (01395) 263579 or email exmouth@rnli.org.uk. Visiting forms are available on the website www.exmouth-lifeboat.org.uk.

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