RIB flips over in windy weather, throwing the crew into rough seas
Force 7 winds and waves of up to three metres caused a 22ft RIB to capsize, throwing four men in to rough water at the mouth of the River Exe in Exmouth on Sunday.
A member of the public spotted the overturned boat from the shore and called the coastguard to raise the alarm.
The four thrown over board managed to swim to the capsized RIB and climb on to the hull, where they awaited rescue. Only one of the men was wearing a lifejacket.
The RNLI’s inshore lifeboat was launched, but the treacherous conditions meant she was working to her limits. The all-weather lifeboat was standing-by to assist in case the weather deteriorated. The coastguard’s helicopter and rescue team were also sent to aid the rescue efforts.
The large waves breaking over the RIB meant that one of the casualties had to swim to the lifeboat to be rescued.
When they men reached the shore, they were checked over by a waiting ambulance crew who decided they didn’t need medical attention.
It was too dangerous to retrieve the RIB.
“The force 7 winds and rough seas on scene meant that it was a difficult rescue for the inshore lifeboat, and so it was inadvisable conditions to take a boat out into for people of any boating capability,” explained Paul Myers, Brixham Coastguard Watch Officer.
“We would also recommend that anyone going out on the water in any kind of vessel wear a lifejacket and take appropriate safety equipment.”