At 3.11pm on Sunday 11 September, inshore lifeboat George Bearman was tasked to assist a yacht with two adults and its rescue boat with four children and one adult on board, both aground in the Exe estuary.
The 22 foot stricken yacht was located north of Lympstone, close to the Royal Marine Commando base, approximately 400m from the shore. The vessel had become aground in the falling tide and their own rescue boat had also became stuck in the mud attempting to assist the yacht. A third vessel in the river had also attempted to move the yacht but was unsuccessful.
In windy conditions, Crew volunteers were on scene by 3.40pm to assess the situation.
Helmsman, Scott Ranft describes the scene:
‘The inshore lifeboat was unable to get closer than 300m to the rescue boat with the children on board and the mud was knee deep so we couldn’t walk over to carry them off. We managed to reach the yacht further downstream but they were also aground. We gathered all their contact numbers and passed them to the Coastguard to continue the rescue. We had to leave the scene promptly to avoid grounding ourselves.’
George Bearman returned to station at 5.10pm and the casualties were rescued by Coastguard helicopter Rescue 106.