Exmouth lifeboat launched twice after yacht runs aground and then paddle boarders get into difficulties

Exmouth RNLI’s inshore lifeboat was launched twice in two hours today. It first set to sea to rescue the crew of a yacht that had run aground. It launched again when crew members spotted paddle boarders in difficulty.

The first emergency was reported at 12.17pm. HM Coastguard asked Exmouth RNLI to go to the assistance of a 30ft wooden fin heeled yacht that had run aground on the River Exe near Topsham.

The inshore lifeboat, George Bearman II, led by helmsman Harry Griffin and volunteer crew Guy Munnings and Charlie Allen, launched immediately. They arrived at the scene a short time later.

A spokesperson for Exmouth RNLI said: “It was ascertained that the vessel was firmly aground and the two occupants were taken on board the lifeboat and then on to safety at Topsham. No injuries were reported.”

The lifeboat departed the scene at 1:31pm and was back at the station at 1:45pm.

However, a short time later, members of the crew noticed two paddle boarders who appeared to be in difficulty off Exmouth beach, with one person struggling in the water against the tide.

The lifeboat immediately launched again – at 2.09pm – reaching the casualties about a minute later.

The spokesman added: “One of the individuals was taken on board the lifeboat. The second made their way to safety under the supervision of the lifeboat crew.

“Both individuals were back on land at 2.17pm and the lifeboat was back on station at 2:30pm.

“No injuries were reported arising from this second incident.”

Helmsman Mr Griffin said: “Tide times and heights vary considerably and it is essential that water users make themselves aware of this important information before they set out on the water.

“Strong currents running out to sea are common on our coastline and again I would emphasise the importance of seeking proper safety advice before venturing out.”

Safety information on tide times and heights can be found at the RNLI webite here: https://rnli.org/safety/know-the-risks/tides

Further advice from the RNLI concerning strong currents can be found here: https://rnli.org/safety/know-the-risks/rip-currents

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