Casualty showing signs of hypothermia cut off by tide at Budleigh is saved by rescuers

A casualty showing signs of hypothermia who was washed ashore and cut off by the tide near Budleigh Salterton was saved by rescuers.

The cold, wet and disorientated leisure fisherman was washed ashore on the eastern side of the Otter Mouth at around 6pm on Monday (January 11), with a possible dinghy puncture.

After the casualty was located by Exmouth Coastguard, Sidmouth Independent Lifeboat crew carried out a tethered rescue, swimming across the river mouth to bring the man to safety.

Exmouth Coastguard said the fisherman’s vessel was flooded, and had a possible puncture.

The boat and its contents were made safe then secured away from the beach.

An Exmouth Coastguard spokesperson said: “The casualty was cold and wet and disorientated.

“Safety spotters were in place with rescue lines, if needed.

“Due to the sea state and tidal conditions the lifeboat was unable to assist.

“A crewman went ashore then made a tethered rescue swim to the casualty.

“Once the boat had been baled out the rest of the team hauled it to safety on the western Budleigh side.

“The casualty was handed over to the care of the ambulance service.”

A Sidmouth Independent Lifeboat spokeswoman said the casualty, who had come ashore near Budleigh, was in a ‘disorientated state’.

She said: “The lifeboat launched and proceeded to the mouth of the River Otter, where the person in question had been located with a dinghy by Exmouth Coastguard rescue team on the other side of the river.

“The casualty was cut off by the tide, and showing signs of hypothermia.

“Lifeboat crew swam across the river, which was running hard, to reach the casualty’s position and brought him back across.”

The man’s care was left in the hands of the ambulance service.

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