Crew volunteers rescued a novice kitesurfer from Exmouth’s ‘duckpond’ in the rising tide on 25 July. Later that afternoon, the inshore lifeboat was tasked to rescue two people in the water after their trimaran capsized near the marina.
Brixham coastguard tasked the inshore lifeboat George Bearman at 9.34am, responding to an emergency call to a kitesurfer in difficulties in the Exe estuary. Crew volunteers Scott Ranft, Roy Stott and Guy Munnings located the casualty, a man from Exeter, within five minutes of launching.
The man was in the ‘duckpond’, an area of the estuary considered safe for water sports beginners due to the shallow water. Finding it difficult to inflate his kite, he made his way to a yellow marker on a sandbank and decided to wait for the tide to recede, after his board drifted ashore. While the man was buoyant and waiting for help, his friend stripped to her underwear and swam out to him.
The charity’s volunteers picked both casualties up in the inshore lifeboat and took them to the shore to safety. Coastguards attended the scene to check on the casualties. The George Bearman returned to the lifeboat station and was made ready for service by 10.35am. Volunteer Lifeboat Operations Manager, Kevin Riley MBE was on duty;
‘In light of recent fatal incidents during the country’s hot weather, the public are strongly encouraged not to swim out to casualties as it puts themselves at further risk. In this case we had to pick up two casualties instead of one, which was unnecessary as the inshore lifeboat was already on its way’
At 4.15pm, Mr Riley acting as Deputy Launching Authority, launched the inshore lifeboat after instruction from Brixham coastguard. A trimaran had capsized by the number 13 buoy, resulting in two people in the water. Three crew volunteers assisted the casualties out of the water, helped disassemble the rig, right the vessel, assemble the rig again and then towed it to the visitors’ mooring. From launch to recovery, this long and complicated procedure in the estuary took nearly two hours to complete.