Three rescued after boat capsizes off Seaton

Some of the rescuers involved in the multi-agency operation off Seaton. 

Some of the rescuers involved in the multi-agency operation off Seaton. - Credit: Beer Coastguard Rescue Team

Lifeboats, a helicopter, coastguard teams, firefighters and ambulance crew were involved in a dramatic rescue off Seaton yesterday evening after a boat with three men on board capsized. 

A member of the public called the emergency services after seeing the men in the water without lifejackets at the mouth of the River Axe at around 5pm on Sunday, November 14. 

One man managed to swim ashore, suffering from hypothermia, and another was able to signal his location with a light and was rescued by Lyme Regis lifeboat, also suffering from hypothermia. 

The third man was still missing as darkness fell, but was found by the helicopter more than 500metres west of the river mouth and 200 metres offshore.  The Lyme lifeboat crew pulled him from the water and  he was airlifted into the helicopter and flown to hospital.

The other two were taken to hospital by land ambulances, after preliminary first-aid treatment at the Axe Yacht Club. 

The rescuers then turned their attention to the men’s boat which was drifting half submerged offshore. Sidmouth lifeboat managed to tow it to Beer beach where a local fisherman helped coastguards pull it up the shore. 

A spokesman for Beer Coastguard Rescue Team said: “These men are very lucky that somebody saw what happened and dialled 999.  

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“Lifejackets save lives - always wear a lifejacket at sea and don’t remove it until you are safe ashore.  

“We wish them a speedy recovery. 

“We would like to thank the Axe Yacht Club and Beer fisherman Kim for their help and those that dialled 999  - without those calls the outcome would have been very different.”