Hotel guests hurt by falling branch

Guests at an Exmouth hotel got an unwelcome surprise when a large tree branch fell into the hotel’s swimming pool.

A pine tree at the back of the Maer Lane car park had split down the middle, sending a large branch crashing into the outdoor swimming pool of the Devoncourt Hotel, landing on top of guests.

No one was seriously hurt, however, an ambulance treated two female guests with minor injuries, one of whom was taken to the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital with a hand injury.

The stricken tree is the responsibility of East Devon District Council, which must now decide whether the rest of the tree can be saved.

An EDDC spokesman said: “We are pleased that no one was seriously injured and would like to offer our apologies to the people affected by this incident.

“A climbing inspection has been carried out and, following the resulting report, a team of tree surgeons will be dealing with the pine tree as necessary.

“We will be investigating how the tree came to be weakened in some way and what part the weather may have played in the incident.”

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A spokesman for the Devoncourt Hotel said: “We think the tree was de-stabilised when someone cut the top off years ago and, without warning, it fell over and a branch ended up six feet inside our outdoor swimming pool.

“One lady injured her hand protecting herself as it fell down on her, and was treated at hospital, and she is now back staying with us.

“Another lady scraped her back and the ambulance dealt with her at the scene.”