Woman saved from sea, but seven-hour search involving Exmouth RNLI ends in tragedy as man’s body is found

A man died despite the best efforts of rescue services including Exmouth RNLI when two people were swept out to sea yesterday (Sunday, November 3).

The town’s all-weather R&J Welburn lifeboat searched the waters off Freshwater Beach in Bridport, Dorset, for around seven hours.

The Exmouth crew, led by coxswain Steve Hockings-Thompson, was tasked to the area at around 4pm.

They were joined in the effort by Lyme Regis RNLI, the HM Coastguard and Dorset Police helicopters.

A helicopter from a Portuguese naval frigate in the area and a team from West Bay Coastguard Rescue were also part of the search.

A woman was saved from the water and taken to hospital; her condition is unknown.

Police later found the body of a man, aged in his mid-20s, at Hive Beach and the emergency services were stood down.

Exmouth RNLI coxswain Steve said: “This was a difficult operation in severe weather and our volunteer crew worked hard over several hours in extreme conditions alongside our multi-agency partners on this search and rescue task.

“Recently, several severe weather alerts, including a yellow warning, about heavy rain, strong winds and rough tides have been issued.

“If you are walking along the beach it is vital to always be well clear of the water’s edge, especially when the sea is rough and the waves high.”

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