Sixteen people, few with lifejackets, rescued from water by RNLI and local boats

By Sam Acourt in Emergency Services

Sixteen people were rescued from the water on Saturday after their overloaded boat capsized, and few were wearing lifejackets.

Salcombe RNLI were called at 8.20pm to a 19ft Boston Whaler that had capsized in the upper reaches of South Pool Creek, with 16 people on board.

A representative of Salcombe RNLI said: “Upon arrival, the crew found five people on the upturned hull of the Whaler, it was originally reported that there were eight people on board but that some had been lifted off the hull by local boats.

“With the five casualties transferred to the ILB lifeboat a search of the area was undertaken for other persons. Salcombe Harbour Master watch boat arrived and took the upturned hull in tow. The five wet, cold and tired casualties were taken back to the lifeboat station where they were provided with blankets and towels.

“Further discussions with other services involved established that 16 persons were involved including three children. Three local boats had taken eleven persons ashore to South Pool.”

Prawle Point Coastguard were also called, having just taken part in the Kingsbridge Fair Carnival, but were stood down en route.

A representative for PPC said: “All casualties were recovered from the water, which fortunately was not very deep, by other boats on scene, Salcombe RNLI and Salcombe Harbour patrol.

“It transpires that the boat was overloaded and very few were wearing life jackets - including children.

“It was extremely fortunate that this incident happened in shallow water, in good conditions, with other boats present.”

They gave advice for people:

Do not overload your boat - check the rating plate which shows the maximum horsepower and weight or person loading.

Always wear a lifejacket - no matter whether you are offshore, inshore, on a river, or on a lake.

They added: “If you see anyone in difficulty on or near the coast or waterway, call 999 and ask for the Coastguard.”

In total, eight men, five women and three children were rescued.

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