Beach safety this Summer

Schools are out and many West Country families are heading for the region's beaches. Here are some tips to stay safe this Summer.

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Man thrown from speedboat in Teignmouth Bay

A man has had a lucky escape after being thrown from his speedboat in Teignmouth Quay, Devon, yesterday (Friday 16 May). He had been hurled into the water from his speedboat. The boat was then going round in circles and the man was trying to swim away to safety.

The Coastguard rescue team and RNLI inshore lifeboat were sent to the scene. The lifeboat crew managed to bring the boat under control by cutting the engine.

The man had been picked up by another boat nearby and was brought ashore where he was met by Coastguard Rescue Officers. He’s since been taken to hospital to be checked over, but doesn’t appear to have been badly hurt.

It appears the man took off his kill cord as it was too short to allow him to tie up his boat. Unfortunately, he accidentally knocked the throttle, the boat jerked forward and he fell into the water. Without the kill cord, the boat’s engine didn’t cut out and then locked into driving round and round in circles. Luckily he did have a lifejacket on and was able to quickly swim away to safety and the boat was soon brought under control. We always recommend people wear their kill cord at all times when on the boat. Make sure it’s a suitable length so you can move around your vessel.

– Andre Huber, Watch Manager at Brixham Coastguard


Fundraisers reach £150,000 target for Exmouth RNLI

Crowds at an RNLI fundraising open day in Exmouth Credit: Exmouth RNLI

Volunteers at Exmouth RNLI have reached their fundraising target of £150,000 towards a new tractor and trailer - in time for the arrival next week of their new Shannon class lifeboat.

The appeal was launched towards the end of 2012 towards the total cost of the station’s new vehicle, designed in conjunction with local Devon company, Supacat. The state-of-the-art system arrived at Exmouth lifeboat station at the end of March.

Don Hodgkinson, Chair of the Exmouth Lifeboat Fundraising Team said: "We’d like to thank all our loyal supporters and local branches for helping us reach our target. We’re especially pleased to share our good news with everyone, as our new lifeboat arrives on 9 May.


Lifeguards return to beaches for the holidays

Lifeguards keeping watch at Woolacombe beach Credit: PA

RNLI lifeguards are returning to some of the region's busiest beaches for the Easter holidays.

The charity has issued a safety warning that many beaches have been affected by storm damage. Some access points have disappeared, and the shifted sands may be more likely to cause rip currents.

Lifeboatman's daughter rescued off Penzance

Map showing the location of the incident off Penzance Credit: ITV News

A lifeboat crew rescued three girls in Penzance last night after they were swept into the sea next to the Jubilee Pool. One girl was the daughter of a Penlee lifeboat crewman.

The first girl was swept into the sea near the Jubilee Pool, after the friends had walked down the slipway in wetsuits. Her friend tried to help, but was also swept in.

The third girl, Lucy Haining - daughter of Penlee crewman Zac Haining - went into the sea to persuade the others to swim out beyond the dangerous breakers to wait for help. They were evntually spotted by a passer-by. The rescue involved a Culdrose helicopter, two lifeboats and the coastguard.

The girls are all safe and well, and Lucy has been praised for her actions.

Padstow lifeboat in trawler rescue

Six fisherman have been rescued off the Cornish coast in a joint operation involving the Padstow lifeboat and a helicopter from RNAS Culdrose. The crew of the French trawler took to survival suits and abandoned ship yesterday when their vessel was struck by huge waves in gale force winds.

Five of the crew were plucked from the water by the Royal Navy rescue helicopter and the skipper was picked up by the RNLI lifeboat from Padstow. All six crew were brought ashore.

Padstow lifeboat 2nd Coxswain Richard Pitman said, "A great deal of credit must go the winchman on the helicopter. The heavy sea conditions made his job very difficult as he was dragged in and out of the water with the rise and fall of the sea.

"The conditions were challenging and it was a difficult rescue for all involved, we are pleased to have been able to assist."

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