Windsurfer callout 'false alarm'

PUBLISHED: 16:05 16 November 2009 | UPDATED: 12:19 10 June 2010

AN Exmouth lifeboat crew were scrambled after windsurfing equipment was found apparently abandoned on rocks near Exmouth beach.

AN Exmouth lifeboat crew were scrambled after windsurfing equipment was found apparently abandoned on rocks near Exmouth beach.

However the windsurfer was found alive and well in what turned out to be false alarm.

A member of the public called the emergency services last Thursday lunchtime prompting Brixham Coastguards to call out Exmouth RNLI.

The all-weather lifeboat Margaret Jean launched a search of Exmouth seafront in force six conditions.

But as the volunteer lifeboat crew checked the area, the owner of the windsurfing gear - who had been on land all the time - returned to his equipment.

Kevin Riley, Lifeboat Operations Manager at Exmouth RNLI said; "This is similar to an incident shown in the summer on Seaside Rescue in which crew were searching an area after fishing and personal equipment was found on rocks near the sea.

"In that case the owner had left it there to return later and it caused a lot of concern."

He said despite the false alarm it was a 'good call' by the member of the public and other beach users should continue to be vigilant: "If you see equipment so close to the water, it could have indicated someone was in trouble at sea and that their equipment had floated in."

Kevin advises sea users to leave any unattended equipment far up from the high water mark to avoid causing concern.

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