Exmouth RNLI Lifeboat launched to help paddle boarders in distress

Exmouth Lifeboat assists paddle boarders in difficulty

PHOTOGRAPH : ILB_2_LR_wide = Exmouth Inshore Lifeboat launches to the rescue : Credit John Thorogood / Exmouth RNLI

At 17:11 hrs today, Saturday 20 June 2020 Exmouth RNLI’s temporary Inshore Lifeboat D-755 Peggy D was requested to launch by H.M. Coastguard following reports of two paddle boarders in difficulties on the River Exe off Exmouth Railway Station.

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Assisted by volunteer RNLI launch & recovery crew Paul Balbi, Mark Cockman and Robert Thompson, the lifeboat was launched shortly afterwards and reached the scene of the incident by 17:18 hrs. A unit from Exmouth Coastguard was also on location to assist.

Commanded by Helm, Guy Munnings and volunteer RNLI crew members Harry Griffin and Chris Sims, the individuals, together with two gentlemen who had entered the water to help them were quickly located. The two female paddle boarders and one of the gentlemen were taken onboard the lifeboat and to the safety of Exmouth Marina, whilst the fourth made his own way to land.

They were taken to the safety of Exmouth Marina where the two paddle boarders, who were suffering from cold and shock, were met by the H.M. Coastguard team and given medical assistance. None of the casualties sustained other injuries or required further treatment.

Helm, Guy Munnings said, ‘At this time of year the river can be deceptively cold and there is always a risk that paddle boarders can easily get chilled and shocked very quickly if immersed, even for short periods of time. It’s important for all water users to be aware of this risk and take action to prevent it – have proper training, always be aware of the weather and tides, wear suitable clothing, use a buoyancy aid or lifejacket and have a paddleboard with a leash. It was fortunate that a passer by reported this incident promptly, called 999 for Coastguard and RNLI assistance and we were quickly on scene to assist.”

On completion of the assignment the lifeboat made its way back to Exmouth Lifeboat Station where it was back ready for service by 18:30hrs.

Important RNLI safety advice for Paddle Boarders can be found here : https://rnli.org/safety/choose-your-activity/stand-up-paddle-boarding