Local RNLI crews went to the aid of the boaters after their vessel sank on Sunday afternoon

Four boaters were rescued from the sea on Sunday after their 18ft motorboat sank off the coast between Exmouth and Budleigh Salterton.

The coastguard received a call from one of the people on board just before 3pm, reporting that the engine had stopped working and that the speedboat was filling with water.

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There were three adults and one teenager on board, but only the teenager was wearing a lifejacket.

RNLI crews from Exmouth were sent to the scene following the initial call but when they arrived, the situation had deteriorated and those on board had been forced to jump into the water as the vessel foundered.

Coxswain Steve Hockings-Thompson said: “We were originally tasked to a broken down motorboat off Budleigh Salterton but as we reached the safe water mark in the Exe estuary, we heard the Mayday call for immediate help over the radio.

“We realised we were on our way to a more serious scenario and once on scene, found four casualties in the water with the hull of their 18ft motorboat sticking out of the water.

“Since only one casualty, a 13-year-old child, was wearing a lifejacket, time was of the essence.”

After being pulled from the water, all four crew were brought back to shore where they received medical attention.

UK Coastguard’s Peter Davies said: “The person who called us 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.”