Sea and air search - 'lost' canoeists found

PUBLISHED: 15:58 14 August 2008 | UPDATED: 11:00 17 June 2010

A MASSIVE sea and air search overnight off Lyme Regis was called off this morning after everyone believed missing was accounted for.

A MASSIVE sea and air search overnight off Lyme Regis was called off this morning after everyone believed missing was accounted for.

Sidmouth Lifeboat had two crews join the widespread search that lasted from 10.39pm on Wednesday until 8.15am Thursday morning; one a relief crew sent with extra fuel for The Pride of Sidmouth.

They manned one of three lifeboats, two helicopters and a coastguard rescue team to undertake the search, launched by a passer-by who reported hearing cries at The Cobb to the coastguard.

Nothing was found after extensive sweeps of a 17-mile stretch between Culverhole Point and Abbotsbury.

Early reports suggested shouts for help had been heard outside Lyme Regis harbour, then that two canoeists were involved; one later turned out to be on a surfboard, and another canoeist, who lives near the lifeboat station, appeared to be missing.

Sidmouth's involvement began at 11.34pm when the lifeboat was sent to Culverhole point to assist Lyme Regis RNLI.

At 2am a relief crew and more fuel were driven to Lyme and the original team, including senior coxswain Simon Sparrow, rested for three hours before returning to continue the search.

Coastguards ashore and two helicopters also joined the search together with the RNLI

all-weather lifeboat from Weymouth.

Ros Evans, Portland Coastguard watch manager, said a canoeist and surfboarder were safely ashore before the search began and came forward to confirm they had returned.

It transpired the other canoeist had not gone to sea but was asleep at home during the emergency.

She said: "Lots of people do go out to sea at night and we recommend they call us before going and on their return so we can log their details.


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