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Boat tragedy on the Bideford Bar

The Torridge Estuary where the accident took place Photo:

One person has died and a second person is in hospital after a small plesure boat capsized in a dangerous river estuary in North Devon.

The vessel, just 14ft long with a small cabin, overturned at Bideford Bar, a treacherous sandbank about two miles off Bideford.

Coastguards said the sea conditions at the time of the emergency call, just after 11am, were good with light winds and an ebbing tide.

The Appledore inshore lifeboat (Stock photo) Credit: Appledore RNLI

An inshore lifeboat with four crew was launched from nearby Appledore. It recovered the casualties and brought the boat ashore.

Devon and Cornwall Police said the deceased person's next-of-kin had yet to be informed. The condition of the injured person is not yet known.

A spokesperson for Appledore RNLI Lifeboat Station said they responded "within minutes" after being alerted by Swansea Coastguard.

"We were there within minutes. The Appledore inshore lifeboat brought two casualties back to the station."

– Appledore RNLI spokeswoman

Bideford Bar is a sand bank that forms a barrier to the estuary of the Taw and Torridge rivers. Safely navigating it remains tricky even for local sailors and vessels usually have to wait for the tide to give them enough clearance.