Group rescued in sea drama

PUBLISHED: 01:01 27 March 2008 | UPDATED: 08:57 10 June 2010

TWO children almost died on Sunday when they fell into the freezing sea off Exmouth. The youngsters were among a party of jet-skiers who had a lucky escape when they fell into the water a mile off Orcombe Point. The RNLI has warned against the perils of t

TWO children almost died on Sunday when they fell into the freezing sea off Exmouth.The youngsters were among a party of jet-skiers who had a lucky escape when they fell into the water a mile off Orcombe Point.The RNLI has warned against the perils of taking to the sea under prepared, after it was revealed the group had no way of communicating with the shore, and the youngsters were poorly dressed for the time of year.Exmouth ambulance station manager James Searle said: "I am reasonably confident to say in those circumstances their lives were compromised. They wouldn't have survived if the lifeboat hadn't found them when it did."Bob Paterson, Exmouth RNLI deputy launching authority at the lifeboat station, said the group were not well equipped for going to sea on a cold day in March. "One of the adults had a dry suit on and the other was wearing a wet suit, but the youngsters were not dressed in suitable clothing," he said. "The sea is still very cold at this time of year and you need to protect yourself against the wind chill and the sea temperature. "Thick wet suits or dry suits are ideal in case things go wrong like they did today, and you land up in the water."The RNLI advice when you go to sea is to always carry a means of communication, preferably a VHF radio, so you can contact the emergency services. "Mobile phone signals can be unreliable and if you fall in the water the phone may not work. "A lifeboat crew can also establish a position for you if you call on a VHF radio as the signal can be used by the lifeboat's direction finding equipment and that can save valuable time."Exmouth inshore lifeboat was launched in the morning to rescue two visiting Somerset adults and three children after two people fell off one of the jet skis - and shortly after both vessels broke down.The group had no radio, or mobile phone, but were spotted by a member of the public from the shore, who contacted the coastguard to raise the alarm.The party of five were a mile off Orcombe Point in relatively calm seas and a northerly wind of force four when the drama unfolded. Exmouth's inshore lifeboat, George Bearman, manned by Dave Preece, Ian Taylor and Andy Stott, recovered the group. The three children, aged between 11 and 14, were found suffering from cold and two were found in the water some way away from the jet skis.They were taken to Exmouth hospital, and released after treatment.

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