A GROUP of teenagers were pulled to safety from the water in the River Exe after trying to swim to Dawlish Warren. 

Six youngsters were spotted in difficulties while RNLI volunteers were on a training exercise on Sunday afternoon. 

All six had entered the river in the area of Mamhead slipway and had tried to swim across the water to Dawlish Warren. 

But they were caught in strong currents and two were unable to make it across but managed to cling to a buoy in there river. 

The remaining four made it to Pole Sands but they then became stuck by the rising tide. 

Both Exmouth RNLI lifeboats had been on a training exercise at about 7pm on Sunday when they were redirected to help the group who had been caught in the strong currents. 

Two passing off-duty volunteer lifeboat crew arrived in their own boat moments before the Exmouth ILB George Bearman II and pulled the first two casualties from the water.  

Satisfied they were safe, the three volunteer ILB crew then retrieved the remaining four teenagers from Pole Sands and brought them back to the safety of the slipway, where they were given safety advice.

RNLI lifeboat volunteers had been involved in a mud rescue training exercise on the river with coastguard volunteers from Dawlish and South Devon at the time. An RNLI spokesman said: ‘Their close proximity to the location of the incident no doubt helped with the very fast response time of our lifeboat.

‘A satisfying outcome to a situation that could easily have ended very badly.  

‘The River Exe has very strong and potentially dangerous currents and is also a very busy boating channel.  

‘Attempting to swim across it at any time is dangerous, but trying to do so during a period of such strong tidal flow was very dangerous indeed and could easily have ended in a tragic outcome.   

‘It was lucky that our volunteers were already on the river and that two off-duty Exmouth RNLI crew were also in the vicinity.’