26/5/13 Press Release

Double rescue for volunteer lifeguards in near drowning. A dramatic rescue of two men took place at Exmouth today. Volunteer Lifeguards from Exmouth Beach Rescue Club were on their first official patrol of the season when the drama unfolded. Shortly after 11:30 the two men from Exeter were plucked from the water between Foxholes car park and Orcombe Point just seconds before they both drowned. Club Senior Lifeguard Nigel Snowshall said, “We were just over an hour into our first patrol when one of our Guards spotted a swimmer heading a considerable distance from the shore. It soon became clear that another swimmer was also heading the same way. Due to the strong outgoing spring tide, a rescue paddleboard was launched from our outpost at Orcombe Point to intercept the swimmers and give safety advice. It quickly became evident that both swimmers were having difficulties in the strong currents and were both struggling to stay afloat. The Arancia rescue boat was immediately launched from our main base at Foxholes to assist in the rescue. Local Stand Up Paddleboarders assisted the first Lifeguard on scene to secure both patients and helped return them to shore for treatment.” One casualty required oxygen therapy and was treated for suspected Hypothermia whilst waiting for the ambulance. Club Lifeguards assisted the ambulance crews with the treatment of both casualties. Local paddleboarders and a local ex nurse all assisted in dealing with the incident. Both men were taken to hospital by ambulance following the incident for follow up treatment. The Incident is thought to have taken place when the man in his twenties ventured too far out having been caught in the strong tide. One of his two carers, believed to be in his fifties, went to assist him but got into difficulties as the tide swept both men out to sea. Mr Snowshall said “We are very grateful for the assistance received from the local people, in an incident of this nature it’s all hands on deck and the most simple help can be invaluable. It is essential for anyone undertaking activities in the sea to seek up to date safety advice before they start. Tidal conditions can take even the most experienced people by surprise and can be very deceiving. Outgoing Spring tides can be particularly dangerous to the unprepared water user.” Later in the day Club volunteers were called to deal with a medical emergency when a 27year old lady, who was 5 months pregnant suffered chest pains and was hyperventilating. Club Lifeguard Maff Richardson, a paramedic with South West Ambulance Service Trust, treated the lady before the ambulance arrived and she was taken to hospital for further treatment. Soon after a man in his seventies fell from the sea wall opposite the Volunteer Lifeguard headquarters and suffered minor back injuries. The man continued his day out following treatment by Club Volunteer Lifeguards. Other incidents dealt with by Club members during the day were a lost child and a child locked in the toilets.