Sidmouth Lifeboat rescues paddleboarders and dog clinging onto buoy off Budleigh

Two people with their dog found clinging to buoy one mile off Budleigh Salterton on Saturday afternoon (August 8) were rescued by Sidmouth Lifeboat.

The lifeboat was launched at around 5.30pm after it was reported two stand-up paddleboarders had been blown offshore at Budleigh.

The paddleboarders had alerted the coastguard, using a mobile phone kept in a waterproof bag.

Lifeboat crew Simon Priestley, Tony Martin, Dave Pearce and Kyle Baker took the trio back to safety.

A Sidmouth Lifeboat spokeswoman said the returning crew made a diversion after dropping the trio off at Budleigh, to help a group of paddleboarders and a kayaker seen struggling to reach the shore at Sidmouth.

The group refused the crew’s offer to be taken back to safety on the lifeboat.

The lifeboat crew stayed with the group for almost an hour while the paddleboarders and kayaker made their way back to shore.

A Sidmouth Lifeboat spokeswoman said: “Sidmouth Lifeboat was tasked to a report of two people on stand-up paddleboards blown offshore at Budleigh Salterton.

“The lifeboat launched and was on-scene within ten minutes to find two people and a dog clinging to a buoy about a mile off of Budleigh Salterton.

“The paddleboarders had been able to alert the coastguard about their situation, as they had a mobile phone with them in a waterproof bag.

“They were picked up by Sidmouth Lifeboat and taken back to Budleigh Salterton beach safe and well.”

The spokeswoman added: “On the way back across to Sidmouth, the lifeboat was alerted to a number of kayakers and paddleboarders struggling in a strong offshore wind off of Sidmouth Beach, by two crew members on shore.

“Sidmouth Lifeboat diverted to speak to one group of paddleboarders and a kayaker, to see if they needed assistance.

“The group did not want to come onboard and preferred to make their own way back to shore, but had been struggling and were appreciative of the lifeboat’s watchful eye as they did so.

“Sidmouth Lifeboat stayed with them for about forty-five minutes until they all made it back to shore safely.”

The lifeboat crew warned beach-goers and water-users to be prepared for Sidmouth beach’s strong offshore winds.

The Sidmouth Lifeboat spokeswoman said: “We understand people want to enjoy the sunshine, the beach and the coast, but urge everyone to take extra precautions to ensure their own safety and the safety of others.

“Please remember whether you are local or not, a novice or experienced – the sea can still catch you out.”

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