Children rescued in Sidmouth sea drama

Sidmouth Lifeboat warnings over inflatable dinghies after two children drift offshore

TWO children, rescued by Sidmouth Lifeboat on Saturday morning after drifting offshore in an inflatable dinghy, have prompted a warning by lifeboat helmsman Mark Roden.

He said: “Inflatable dinghies are toys and children using them need to be under the watchful eye of an adult.”

He said there was a northerly, Force One wind.

“An offshore wind can blow a dinghy out to sea very rapidly, even if paddles are being used.

“Children need to remain within their depth and be capable of getting back to shore.

“The kids we picked up were not wearing lifejackets and the little clothing they had would not have kept them warm.

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“Be careful with dinghies, especially when there is an offshore wind.”

A member of the public raised the alarm at 11.43am, by dialling 999. Beer Coastguards attended as well as the lifeboat, which searched between Jacobs Ladder beach and Ladram Bay for the two young children.

They quickly found them, half-a-mile offshore. They were returned, safe and well, to their grandparents, who were waiting at Jacobs Ladder beach.

Crew on the lifeboat were senior coxswain Simon Sparrow (helm), Dan Green, Glyn Jones and Alex Goodall. Tractor launch crew was Dennis Hutchings.