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Exmouth RNLI volunteers rescue two men in the water in challenging conditions

Lifeboats News Release

Inshore lifeboat George Bearman II launched at 1.30pm on 26 May to two jet skiers who had unexpectedly found themselves in the water and drifted 1.5 miles for over 40 minutes.

The two jet skiers and Exmouth RNLI Crew volunteers who rescued them

RNLI/Emma Tarling

The two jet skiers and Exmouth RNLI Crew volunteers who rescued them

A windsurfer who had spotted a sinking jet ski and two people in the water off Orcombe Point approached a member of the public to call to the Coastguard.

Crew volunteers conducted a search approximately 1.5 miles south of the lifeboat station for 23 minutes. Once the casualties were located, they were brought ashore and one was given oxygen and monitored as he was in shock and at risk of secondary drowning.

Crew volunteers then returned to pick up their jet ski whilst other Crew first aiders at the lifeboat station assisted the casualty. Exmouth Coastguard Response Team and a South West Ambulance were also present.

Helm, Robert ‘Tommo’ Thompson said:

‘The conditions were challenging – a Force 4/5 wind with 1.5m swells. The men had drifted approximately 1.5 miles westwards from where they had hit a sandbank and had been in the water for over 40 minutes, quite possibly an hour. When we returned to retrieve their jet ski, it had drifted a quarter of a mile in just several minutes.

‘One of the casualties advised the other to stay calm, lean back and float to regulate breathing. This is exactly the message our charity is sharing during the Respect the Water campaign, if you find yourself in the water unexpectedly.

Notes to Editors

More details on our charity’s Respect the Water campaign can be found here:

Photos: (Credit Exmouth RNLI)

PR290517 The two casualties with Exmouth RNLI Crew volunteers

For more information please telephone Emma Tarling, Exmouth RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer on 07837 810082 or email:

Key facts about the RNLI

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution is the charity that saves lives at sea. Our volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service in the United Kingdom and Ireland from 238 lifeboat stations, including four along the River Thames and inland lifeboat stations at Loch Ness, Lough Derg, Enniskillen, Carrybridge and Lough Ree. Additionally the RNLI has more than 1,000 lifeguards on over 240 beaches around the UK and operates a specialist flood rescue team, which can respond anywhere across the UK and Ireland when inland flooding puts lives at risk.

The RNLI relies on public donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. As a charity it is separate from, but works alongside, government-controlled and funded coastguard services. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824 our lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved at least 140,000 lives. Volunteers make up 95% of the charity, including 4,600 volunteer lifeboat crew members and 3,000 volunteer shore crew. Additionally, tens of thousands of other dedicated volunteers raise funds and awareness, give safety advice, and help in our museums, shops and offices.

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The RNLI is a charity registered in England and Wales (209603) and Scotland (SC037736). Charity number 20003326 in the Republic of Ireland