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Six teens rescued off Exmouth

Exmouth RNLI training exercise (image courtesy: Tim Thorn/RNLI)

They were swimming to Dawlish Warren

Six teenagers have been pulled from the sea off Exmouth after attempting a dangerous swim from the beach to Dawlish Waren.

They were spotted by a pair of off-duty lifeboat crew after getting into difficulties in dangerous currents.

Other RNLI were taking part in a multi-agency mud rescue training exercise in the River Exe and diverted to the emergency at around 5pm on Sunday afternoon. 

The teens had entered the River Exe near Mamhead Slipway at the eastern end of the beach.

Two were unable to make it across and were seen clinging to a buoy in the river. The other four made it to Pole Sands where they were then stuck by the rising tide.

Exmouth's inshore lifeboat took the first two from the buoy on board and then went on to take the remaining four teenagers from Pole Sands and  back to the safety of the slipway.

The RNLI say they were then "given very clear safety advice".

Writing on social media, they say: "Our lifeboat volunteers had been undertaking a mud rescue training exercise on the river with volunteer H.M. Coastguard colleagues from the Dawlish & South Devon teams.  Their close proximity to the location of the incident no doubt helped with the very fast response time of our lifeboat.

"[It was] a satisfying outcome to a situation that could easily have ended very badly.  

"The River Exe has very strong and potentially dangerous currents and is also a very busy boating channel.  Attempting to swim across it at any time is dangerous, but trying to do so during a period of such strong tidal flow was very dangerous indeed and could easily have ended in a tragic outcome.  

"It was lucky that our volunteers were already on the river and that two off-duty Exmouth RNLI crew were also in the vicinity."

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