Sidmouth Lifeboat rescue man stuck at sea and assist in search

Sidmouth Lifeboat. Ref shs 4548-02-15SH. Photo Simon Horn

Sidmouth Lifeboat. Ref shs 4548-02-15SH. Photo Simon Horn - Credit: Archant

Sidmouth Lifeboat responded to a man in need after he had been stuck at sea for two days.

A man who was lost at sea for two days without food or water, after his yacht broke down, has been rescued by emergency services.

In the first of two jobs yesterday (Thursday), Sidmouth Lifeboat received a call shortly after 11.30am from a man concerned about his uncle.

The inshore lifeboat and new jet ski was launched in thick fog to begin a search for the 22 metre yacht and began an extensive five mile search.

The crew searched from Culverhole Point to Exmouth and initially could not locate the vessel following a 90 minute search.

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Through a broadcast from Solent Coastguard, the boat was discovered near Dawlish Warren.

Guy Russell, senior coxswain of the lifeboat, said: “We had the casualty vessel on the phone but he was in poor health and was struggling to respond coherently.

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“We located him with the help of an another vessel at sea which happened to have a lifeboat crewman on board from Exmouth.

“Once on scene we evacuated the casualty and took him to meet an ambulance at Exmouth while our ski stayed on scene with the sailing vessel and awaited the arrival of Exmouth inshore lifeboat to tow the yacht into Exmouth.”

On the return journey, the crew was tasked by Solent Coastguard to conduct a search from Orcombe Point to the River Otter, at the eastern end of Budleigh Beach.

They were assisted by a patrol vessel from the straight point firing range, who ceased firing to allow the crew to complete their search.

Nothing was found and the search was left continuing on land with coastguard rescue teams and police. The crew returned to the station at 3.30pm.

Mr Russell thanked Exmouth Lifeboat and the crew for an amazing job in challenging circumstances.

The crew on call was Guy Bennett at the helm, Cameron Baker, Graham Trude, Simon Vacher. Guy Russell assisted on the jet ski,

The tractor was driven by Phil Marish.

Mr Russell said: “It was not an easy job and they showed that they are calm and professional in an emergency situation. I am very proud of my crew.”

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