Exmouth’s lifeboat was beached overnight for safety reasons when a winch became snagged during the vessel’s recovery to the boathouse in extreme weather conditions.
The all-weather lifeboat, R & J Welburn, was returning to Exmouth in the early hours of this morning (Wednesday), following a search for a missing man.
The boat was left on the beach overnight when a winch became caught and safety concerns were raised because of worsening weather.
An Exmouth RNLI spokesman said: “During the recovery of the lifeboat in worsening weather and sea state, a winch wire became snagged.
“Due to those extreme conditions, a decision was made on the grounds of safety to stop the recovery procedure.
“The lifeboat was recovered from the beach to the boathouse at lunchtime today.”
Exmouth’s all-weather lifeboat was launched at around 10.30pm yesterday, Tuesday, September 24, to search for a missing man, joining Sidmouth Independent Lifeboat, Lyme Regis Lifeboat, and the Coastguard Search and Rescue helicopter.
Exmouth’s lifeboat stood down at around 2.30am this morning, September 25.
Steve Hockings-Thompson, Exmouth RNLI coxswain, said: “This was a very long and difficult search at night in very extreme conditions, poor visibility, heavy rain and a treacherous sea.
“I’m grateful to our crew who conducted themselves very professionally and to our colleagues from Sidmouth Independent Lifeboat, Lyme Regis Lifeboat and HM Coastguard for their invaluable assistance throughout.”