Solo swimmers asked to inform rescue services

Coastwatch volunteers are urging lone swimmers to let them know after an airbourne search was conducted when the swimmer was safe and sound all along.

Last Tuesday morning Brixham Coastguard received two separate reports that a lone male swimmer was spotted struggling in rough seas off Maer Rocks.

Coastguards asked The National Coastwatch Institution tower (NCI) on Exmouth beach and RNLI lifeguards to try and spot the swimmer, and when they could not a jet ski was scrambled.

Once they failed to spot the swimmer concerned coastguards contacted the fisheries control who diverted a plane, which was in the area.

The plane completed two sweeps of the area without any sign of the swimmer.

However it was later discovered that the man had come ashore unaided and was safe.

NCI spokesman Bill Nash said: “If a swimmer is without an escort or someone on the beach with them they could save valuable time to the rescue services by contacting the NCI tower to report they are entering the sea alone and when they return.”

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The NCI tower is part of the rescue services and is in constant contact with the RNLI Beach Guard and the Coastguards.

It is manned by two watch keepers every day from 10am to 6pm and the tower also

displays times of high and low tides, weather conditions and the temperature of the sea water.

You can call the NCI Tower on Exmouth 01395 222492.

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