Paddleboarders saved during busy day for Sidmouth lifeboat

Sidmouth lifeboat at sea. Picture: Kyle Baker Photography

Sidmouth lifeboat at sea. Picture: Kyle Baker Photography - Credit: Archant

Two people who were found clinging to a buoy a mile from the beach were rescued by Sidmouth Lifeboat on Saturday (August 8).

The pair had been paddleboarding off Budleigh Salterton with their dog when they were blown offshore at about 5.20pm.

They managed to call the coastguard with a mobile phone in a waterproof bag, and the lifeboat arrived within 10 minutes. The paddeboarders and the dog were taken back to Budleigh Salterton beach.

On the way back to base the lifeboat crew were alerted to a number of kayakers and paddleboarders struggling in a strong offshore wind off of Sidmouth Beach.

The lifeboat crew diverted to them and spoke to some of the paddleboarders and a kayaker, who said they would make their own way back to shore, but were grateful for the lifeboat crew watching over them as they did so. The lifeboat stayed with them for 45 minutes until they were all safe.

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Earlier that day, Sidmouth Lifeboat went to the aid of a broken-down motorboat with two people on board, a mile south of Sidmouth beach.

The crew were alerted at around 9.20am that morning.

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The pair managed to restart their motorboat as the lifeboat was on its way, and the crew made sure they reached the shore safely.

The three incidents came during the UK’s busiest day for more than four years for HM Coastguard.

Across the UK as a whole there were 340 incidents.

A Sidmouth lifeboat spokesman said: “Sidmouth Beach often experiences strong offshore winds.

“As we head into another period of good weather, we understand people want to enjoy the sunshine, the beach and the coast, but urge everyone to take extra precautions to ensure their own safety and the safety of others.”

People are being reminded not to swim near or between the rock islands; not to use inflatables, and not to ‘tombstone’.

The advice is to check and double-check the weather forecast and tide times, and obey local hazard signs.

Anyone going out to sea should wear a lifejacket and take a mobile phone or radio with them, as well as telling someone where they are going and what time they expect to be back.

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