Teenager struggling to reach shore in an inflatable dinghy is rescued by Exmouth RNLI

A teenager on an inflatable dinghy seen struggling to reach the shore at Exmouth on Sunday evening was rescued by the RNLI.

Exmouth RNLI volunteers had returned from towing a 26-foot yacht with four people onboard back to the marina when they spotted an inflatable boat ‘making no progress’ against an outgoing, ebb tide, and offshore breeze.

An Exmouth RNLI spokesperson said: “The teenager was wearing only swimming trunks, with no means of communication.”

The crew self-launched shortly before 6.30pm after keeping watch for 15 minutes, helping before the teenage found himself in difficulty.

RNLI volunteer Harry Griffin, who on Sunday took his first services as Exmouth lifeboat’s youngest helm, said: “When going to sea, please make sure the vessel is fit for purpose and you are suitably equipped.

“Toy boats are not designed for sea and tidal water.”

The lifeboat crew had returned from towing a yacht back to safety after receiving an urgent pan pan call for help; the vessel, with four people onboard, had its propeller wrapped around a mooring buoy and needed cutting free.

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