Missing children spark string of searches at Exmouth 

Missing children spark string of searches at Exmouth 

Safety advice has been underlined after Coastguards were called out to help find missing children in the same area three times in just over an hour.  
Exmouth beach in Devon

In total, nine youngsters were retrieved on the coast near Exmouth during the afternoon of Monday 4 September, as the summer holidays came to a close. 

The string of incidents prompted Drew Parkinson, local Coastal Operations Area Commander, to suggest measures parents and guardians can take to be spared such scary moments. 

He said: “Keeping an eye on your children is obviously the best way to stop them wandering off into difficult situations, but we understand sometimes that can be a challenge! 

“Busy beaches can be disorientating, especially to little ones, so it’s good to have a few Plan Bs up your sleeve, like having a photo of your child to help searches and agreeing a meeting point if they get lost. Some places even give away free kids’ wristbands to write your phone number.” 

The first alarm for HM Coastguard was raised at about 2.30pm with a report of a child in difficulty in the water at Dawlish, just down the coast from Exmouth. 

Coastguard Rescue Teams (CRTs) from Dawlish Warren and Torbay were sent along with an RNLI lifeboat from Exmouth. The child was found safe and well within 40 minutes. 

Just 15 minutes after the first alert, there was a second emergency at 2.45pm – this time involving inflatables – with five children and an adult in the sea off Orcombe Point, Exmouth. 

The RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat from Exmouth recovered the youngsters and the adult, who had been in the water for about 40 minutes, plus another grown-up who had tried to help. 

The children were described as “very cold” before they were reunited safe and well with their parents, having been met at Exmouth Marina by an ambulance and the CRTs from Exmouth and Beer. 

The third call-out at 3.40pm was to a report of three missing children at Exmouth beach. Lifeguards reunited them with their family after a search involving Beer and Exmouth CRTs and the RNLI’s inshore lifeboat from Exmouth. 

For more advice about keeping safe on the beach, click here.


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