A retired Exmouth lifeboatman who heard a faint cry for help while sailing off Budleigh Salterton helped save a capsized canoeist from being swept out to sea.
Former RNLI crew member Simon Turl raised the alarm on Sunday afternoon (July 3) after spotting the waterlogged canoeist struggling in the water, being swept out to sea.
Exmouth RNLI rescued a man in his 40s from the water, and took him to safety.
Roy Stott, RNLI volunteer lifeboat mechani, said “This gentleman was extremely lucky. He had been in the water for some time with no buoyancy aid.
“His canoe was waterlogged, he had no means of communication and he was being swept out to sea.
“If it wasn’t for the sharp observation and swift action by Simon Turl I believe the outcome could have been far more serious.
“I would urge anyone taking to the water to please ensure you have proper safety equipment including a lifejacket or proper buoyancy aid, and a means of communication, either a mobile phone or marine radio.”
The all-weather lifeboat crew, on exercise nearby, launched to the stricken canoeist at around 2pm.
An RNLI spokesman said: “Retired Exmouth RNLI lifeboat crew member, Simon Turl, was sailing off Budleigh Salterton when he heard a faint cry for help.
“On investigation he saw a canoeist some distance from him who had capsized and was struggling in the water.
“Mr Turl immediately notified H.M. Coastguard by radio and the Exmouth RNLI lifeboat crew, that were close by, intercepted the call and sped to the location to give aid.”
He added: “The crew took him on board the lifeboat, retrieved his canoe and took both to the safety of Budleigh Salterton beach.
“The casualty, a male in his late 40’s, was uninjured and did not require medical attention.”