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Yacht grounds on Exmouth sandbank - twice!

Exmouth's inshore lifeboat in nighttime rescue (courtesy: Exmouth RNLI)

22 RNLI crew called in middle of night

Both Exmouth lifeboats have been involved in an early-morning call to six people on board a yacht that had run aground.

The RNLI was alerted to the emergency by the coastguard just before 3 a.m. on Friday. The vessel was at Pole Sands off Exmouth.

The all weather lifeboat and the smaller inshore boat  quickly located the stricken yacht, which by the time help arrived had managed to free itself from its grounding. The lifeboats' volunteers were able to go back to shore.

But that wasn't the end of the matter.

Still in the dark, around 5.50 a.m. RNLI crew at the lifeboat station noticed the vessel had again got into difficulties and the inshore lifeboat was relaunched to assist. Once on scene the lifeboat crew helped free the vessel, which had no radio, one lifejacket and very limited safety equipment on board. The yacht and its crew were guided to the safety of Exmouth Marina where they were met by members of the Exmouth coastguard team.

Having secured the safety of the vessel and its occupants, the lifeboat made its way back to the lifeboat atation where it was back on service a short time later. A total of 22 volunteer crew were involved in the operation.

Helm of the inshore lifeboat on the second assignment, Harry Griffin, said, “The yacht had got itself into difficulty in the dark during the early hours of the morning. When venturing out to sea It is always important to have proper means of communication and adequate safety equipment. It’s also vital, and especially so during the hours of darkness, to check the locality, tide times and sea conditions before venturing out on the water. Our lifesaving volunteers were pleased to assist in this situation and help bring it to a safe and satisfactory conclusion.”  

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