At 12:17 hrs today, Thursday 28 May 2020 both Exmouth’s RNLI temporary lifeboats, the Inshore Lifeboat D-755 Peggy D and All Weather Lifeboat 13-33 Bridie O’Shea were requested to launch by H.M. Coastguard following reports of a swimmer who had reportedly disappeared out of view off the beach at Steamer Steps, Budleigh Salterton.
The lifeboats were launched immediately by volunteer crew members – the Inshore Lifeboat commanded by Helm, Henry Mock and the All Weather Lifeboat under the charge of Coxswain Steve Hockings-Thompson.
En route to the location the inshore lifeboat was diverted to assist a kite surfer who had become stranded on Pole Sands. The individual was then taken to the safety of shore, was uninjured and did not require further assistance.
The inshore lifeboat then joined its sister vessel making its way to the area off Steamer Steps but a short time later the assignment was cancelled when it was confirmed that the swimmer had now been sighted and was not in danger.
On completion of the assignments both lifeboats made their way back to Exmouth Lifeboat Station where they were back ready for service by 14:00hrs.
Exmouth RNLI Helm, Henry Mock said “Our advice to anyone considering kitesurfing is to receive proper tuition, check the conditions and tides, never kitesurf alone or venture out further that you can swim back and always take a means of calling or signalling for help.”
As the charity that saves lives at sea, the RNLI have published dedicated water safety advice for kitesurfers that can be found on the national RNLI website at : https://rnli.org/safety/choose-your-activity/kitesurfing
Exmouth RNLI have designated volunteer safety advisors, led by Community Safety Officer, Dave Littlefield and further information can be found here : http://www.exmouthlifeboat.org.uk/community-safety/