Exmouth and District Round Table members handing over the FLIR to Exmouth RNLI Crew volunteers in December, 2017. (Credit: Exmouth RNLI)
Volunteers from Exmouth lifeboat station were called upon to help four people in three incidents in under 24 hours between 13 and 14 April. Crew volunteers located a missing person, tasked to two men in difficulty in the river Exe and Shore Crew gave casualty care to a lady who had fallen on the beach.
On 13 April, inshore lifeboat George Bearman II launched at 10.36pm to assist Devon and Cornwall Police and Coastguard Rescue Teams from Exmouth and Beer, to help locate a missing person. Crew volunteers used a Forward Looking Infra-Red (FLIR), thermal-imaging equipment which was donated recently by Exmouth and District Round Table, with funds raised from November’s Fireworks event. The missing person was located in an area, hidden in view only visible from the water and was instrumental to a positive outcome. Crew volunteers were able to pinpoint the casualty and direct Coastguards to the precise location.
Michael Sprague from Exmouth and District Round Table said:
‘We’d read about an FLIR in action at another lifeboat station and thought it was worthwhile raising money for our local station to receive one as a gift, with the variety of search and rescue jobs the Crew volunteers are called out to. We’re so pleased it helped save a life on this occasion.’
On 14 April, the D class lifeboat was tasked again following a call to the UK Coastguard concerning two men in difficulty in a dinghy in the river Exe near Starcross pier. The first informant described the men clinging to a mooring, wearing no lifejackets and one had already fallen in the water. Crew volunteers were on scene within 10 minutes and offered the men assistance, which was refused.
Exmouth RNLI Community Safety Officer, Dave Littlefield recommends wearing a lifejacket at all times on the water:
‘Taking to the water without wearing a lifejacket is not only foolhardy, but can put your life at risk. Before using a boat in strong winds and tides, please ensure that you are wearing warm clothing and a suitable lifejacket, ideally one fitted with a crotch strap, hood, whistle and light. Take a means of communication: VHF radio on channel 16 or if using a mobile, phone 999 or 112 for the Coastguard.’
Just after George Bearman II launched, Shore Crew volunteers were alerted to a lady who had fallen on the beach in front of the lifeboat station with a suspected broken leg. Using the basket stretcher, highly trained volunteers recovered the lady to the now empty inshore lifeboat hall where she was assessed, given pain relief and monitored until the ambulance arrived.
Exmouth lifeboat station was the venue for Area 18 (Lyme Bay) Community Safety conference on Saturday 14 April. 19 Volunteers and five visiting staff were able to watch both Crew and Shore Crew in action from the Crew room.