Swimmer dies following major sea rescue near Sidmouth

The air ambulance was called to Sidmouth seafront. PICTURE: Mark Eburne

The air ambulance was called to Sidmouth seafront. PICTURE: Mark Eburne - Credit: Archant

Emergency services did all they could to save the man after he was found unconscious in sea near Sidmouth

A man has died after being rescued from the sea near Sidmouth.

Sidmouth Lifeboat and Beer Coastguard arrived within minutes of the callout yesterday (Tuesday) and found the man unconscious and not breathing; they immediately began carrying out first aid.

The crews had been deployed shortly before 4pm to Weston after reports of a missing swimmer.

Sidmouth Lifeboat continued administering first aid on board their boat and brought the man back to Sidmouth seafront, where police, paramedics and Devon Air Ambulance had arrived.

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Guy Russell, senior coxswain of Sidmouth Lifeboat, said the crew did all they could to help the man and that the station’s thoughts were with his family.

He said: “Sidmouth Lifeboat was tasked to a missing swimmer off Weston. We were launched in minutes with boat and ski. We located the casualty in minutes and found him unconscious and not breathing.

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“We started life support upon the lifeboat and returned to Sidmouth to meet the land and air ambulance and coastguard.

“We worked on him for approximately 45 minutes on the beach but sadly he passed away.

“Everyone did an amazing job, the town and community came together and were very cooperative.

“A sad day and our thoughts go out to his family. Massive genuine heartfelt thanks to all my crew who dealt with a very difficult situation in a very tricky sea, thanks to the coastguard as always for their amazing work and to all the other emergency services.”

A police spokesperson said they were called to a report of a 66-year-old man having been pulled unconscious from the sea at Sidmouth beach around 4.30pm.

She added: “The man had gone swimming but was found unconscious in the water by HM Coastguard having been reported missing by family members.

“CPR was carried out by paramedics but the man was pronounced deceased at the scene a short time later.

“He was taken to Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital.

“The death is not being treated as suspicious and a file will be prepared for the coroner.”

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