Posted: 16.09.20 at 01:05 by Joseph Bulmer
UPDATE: The man has now been found safe and well.
A paddleboarder is believed to be missing off the coast of Budleigh Salterton this morning after an unsuccessful search and rescue operation, involving three lifeboats, a search and rescue team and a coastguard helicopter.
In what was their second assignment of the day, both Exmouth RNLI Lifeboats launched last night after reports a paddleboarder had been seen 2.5 miles off the coast of Budleigh Salterton.
At 7.32pm last night (Tuesday, September 15) H.M. Coastguard tasked both of Exmouth RNLI's lifeboats, All Weather Lifeboat, 13-33 Bridie O’Shea and Inshore Lifeboat D-755 Peggy-D, were sent in search of the missing paddleboarder.
The two lifeboats manned by Exmouth RNLI's volunteer crew were launched a few minutes later.
The All Weather Lifeboat crewed by Steve Hockings-Thompson, Mark Sansom, Steve Satchell, Paul Balbi, David Preece and James Edge and the Inshore boat by Guy Munnings, Harry Griffin and James Searle.
Both lifesaving vessels undertook an extensive, detailed search for several hours of the vicinity in which the paddleboarder was last sighted, assisted by members of the Exmouth Coastguard Rescue Team, the Sidmouth Independent Lifeboat Pride of Sidmouth and an H.M. Coastguard AW-189 helicopter, Rescue 187.
On completion of thorough searches of the relevant area with nothing found, both lifeboats were stood down at just before midnight when they returned to Exmouth, refuelled and were back ready for service shortly afterwards.
Important RNLI Safety advice for paddleboarders can be found here.