Warning after children swept out to sea in South Devon

Coastguard and RNLI crews rescued 10 people in water-related incidents across the South Devon coast in just a five hour period
-Credit: (Image: Frankie Mills)

Gusty winds sparked a busy weekend for search and rescue teams in Devon as crews rescued 10 people who had been blown out to sea on inflatables or paddleboards. In around a five-hour period on Sunday, July 7, Torbay Coastguard, Paignton Coastguard and Torbay RNLI rescued four groups of people, including two children, from the sea on the South Devon coast.

All four incidents involved either paddleboards or inflatable vessels which had been blown out to sea or holed during the blustery conditions on the coastline. In one case, two people were found in the water after their inflatable dingy became submerged.

Coastguard crews received the call at around 7.15pm and found the two people struggling to return to shore from Saltern Cove. Torbay Coastguard said: "We were able to direct the Inshore Lifeboat to their location who were quickly on scene. They recovered 2 very cold casualties and took them to Paignton Harbour to be met by coastguard and ambulance personnel."

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It came after three other rescues earlier on Sunday afternoon. The first incident was reported at around 2pm, after two paddleboarders were blown offshore from Paignton beach. The pair were rescued and taken on-board Torbay lifeboat.

Around 25 minutes after picking up the paddleboarders, Torbay Coastguard received reports of three people stranded on Thatchers Rock after their inflatable kayak was holed. The same lifeboat met and recovered them, taking the kayakers and paddleboarders to Torquay Harbour, where they were given safety advice.

At around 3.25pm, when the lifeboat was alongside Torquay Harbour, a third call came in of a man and two children blown off-shore in an inflatable dinghy at Preston Beach. The Coastguard later confirmed the trio had been assisted back to the beach by a passing paddleboarder and they were all safe.

The coastguard added: "Flags, such as those on Paignton Pier, show you the strength and direction of the wind. Please avoid the use of inflatables such as inflatable dinghies, which are best saved for the swimming pool."