Photos: (Credit Exmouth RNLI)
PR250517 Crew volunteers take the casualties to Mamhead slipway for recovery
Inshore lifeboat George Bearman II launched at 11.57am on 25 May to two men in difficulty on a sailboat, half a mile south of Exmouth lifeboat station.
A passing canoeist who had caught sight of sails flapping, came ashore and made a 999 call to the Coastguard. Crew volunteers were on scene within 10 minutes. The 22’ sailboat with outboard motor had lost its rudder and had also run out of fuel.
At the casualties’ request, the vessel was taken under tow to Mamhead slipway for recovery. George Bearman II left the casualties at 12.53pm and was ready again for service at the lifeboat station at 1.02pm.
Helm, Guy Munnings said:
‘It was clear that one of the casualties had been in the water to retrieve the rudder, putting himself at risk of Cold Water Shock syndrome. We were called to a similar scene last summer where a man tried to recover his oar. Tragically, when we arrived on scene, he had already drowned in the seemingly pleasant conditions, in a very short space of time.
‘Today, only one of the casualties was wearing a lifejacket and neither expected to end up in the water. On the launch day of our charity’s Respect the Water campaign, we would encourage anyone who is by our coast to know what to do in an unexpected situation. The sea is still very cold at this time of year and ending up in the water with sudden
immersion in cold water can cause cold water shock, triggering an instinctive reaction to gasp and swim hard.
‘We would recommend to fight your instinct to swim and to lie back, opening your body up and float until breathing regulates. Then call for help. Make sure you have means of communication and suitable safety equipment before you set off.’