Four people were rescued from the water yesterday afternoon after their 18ft speedboat sank off the coast between Exmouth and Budleigh Salterton.
The UK Coastguard was phoned by one of the people on the speedboat at just before 3pm. The Coastguard was told that the engine had stopped working and that the speedboat was filling with water. There were three adults and one teenager on board and only the teenager was wearing a lifejacket.
The RNLI lifeboat based at Exmouth was sent to the scene. Unfortunately the situation with the speedboat deteriorated before the lifeboat could reach them and the four people had to jump in to the water.
The Exmouth lifeboat rescued all four people from the sea and brought them back to shore where they received medical attention.
Peter Davies from UK Coastguard said: ‘The person who called us this afternoon did exactly the right thing by calling for help at the earliest opportunity. Because they called when they did the amount of time the group spent in the cold sea was mercifully short.
‘However this incident is a timely reminder that even if you are going out to sea on a pleasant Sunday afternoon you should prepare for the unexpected and that’s why HM Coastguard recommend that everyone on board should have an appropriate personal floatation device, such as a lifejacket.’
He added: ‘It’s also worth investing in a VHF or DSC radio system as whenever you make an emergency call you tell everyone within range of your predicament.
‘Even if you cannot see them there may be another vessel close by that can quickly help. It’s probably unwise to depend on a mobile phone for emergency communications at sea because if the mobile coverage is poor you might not have the signal you need to make the call.’
On the Exmouth RNLI Facebook page, a mum of one of the casualties praised the rescuers.
Angela Colclough said: ‘My 13 year old son Daniel was one of the four people rescued from the powerboat.
‘Thank God for Exmouth RNLI and the volunteers. If they had not been there I would in all likelihood have lost my son, and I cannot bear to even begin to think about that. He is home now and in bed asleep. Thank you.’