Exmouth RNLI (PR091118 Man taken ashore from houseboat in river Exe)

Photos: (Credit: Exmouth RNLI)

PR091118 Inshore lifeboat George Bearman II launches on service in the dark

Both Exmouth’s Shannon class and D class lifeboats were tasked at 8.05pm on 8 November, following a call to the Coastguard from a man concerned for his welfare, in the river Exe.



The man had just rowed to his anchored houseboat, moored in the river Exe outside Cockwood harbour. He had lost an oar as he was getting on board in the dark and had no means to make it back to shore safely.

Conditions were deteriorating with a combination of high winds and high tide. A decision was made to launch both lifeboats by Deputy Launching Authority, Rick Newcombe:

We weren’t sure whether our Shannon could reach the casualty at the location as he was tucked up, close to the shore. In Force five conditions, launching the D class lifeboat alone could have been a risk to our Crew volunteers, so the all-weather lifeboat was launched to support the inshore lifeboat.’

Coxswain, Steve Hockings-Thompson described the actions of his Crew volunteers:

There was just enough tide to reach the casualty using the Shannon’s manoeuvrable capabilities in shallow water. He was taken on board relief Shannon, John Metters by our volunteers who passed him over to the inshore lifeboat George Bearman II. They in turn took him to Starcross to safety where the casualty was met by Teignmouth Coastguard Rescue Team. We gave him safety advice as we noticed the casualty wasn’t wearing a lifejacket. In all weathers, we would advise wearing lifejackets and carrying reliable means of communication, so we can find casualties quickly.’