Paddleboarder turns lifesaver, keeping kids afloat as group is swept out to sea off Exmouth

A good Samaritan paddleboarder turned lifesaver, helping to keep afloat children and adults being swept out to sea at Exmouth.

Exmouth RNLI all-weather lifeboat launched to seven casualties on Monday afternoon (September 4) after reports five children and two adults playing with inflatable toys in the sea were being taken off by the tide off Orcombe Point.

The casualties were plucked to safety by the all-weather lifeboat and checked over by paramedics once they reached shore.

The town’s RNLI said a paddleboarder, who was not with the group, had helped the stricken party – keeping some afloat – after noticing they were being swept out by the tide.

Steve Hockings-Thompson, Exmouth RNLI Coxswain urged caution when in the sea, and if using toys or inflatables in the water.

He said: “Inflatable toys are for a controlled environment like the swimming pools, not the sea.

“They are easily caught in the wind or tide and taken out to sea very often placing young persons in great danger, which is what happened here.

“Myself and my crew were pleased that we were able to be quickly respond to this emergency and rescue those involved without them coming to any harm.”

A spokesman for the town’s RNLI said the crew of the all-weather lifeboat located seven casualties in the sea off Orcombe Point, two adults and five children.

He said: “They had been swept out by the tide, had no safety equipment, or means of communication.

“Another adult, unconnected to the original group, had gone out on his paddleboard and was using it to keep some of the others afloat.

“The lifesavers took all seven onboard the lifeboat and conveyed them to the safety of shore at Exmouth Marina.

“As they had been in the water for some considerable time, an ambulance was summonsed to meet the lifeboat crew and check over the casualties.”

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