As the whole of Devon and Cornwall enjoyed the fabulous weather into the Easter weekend, the emergency services have been inundated with serious incidents.
Police, fire, ambulance and lifeboat crews and coastguard rescue teams have all been called out to numerous emergencies. They include a couple found dead at their home, serious injuries, multiple fires and a report of a stranded whale.
Devon and Cornwall Police said it had been an exceptionally busy day with more than 1,000 incident logged across the force area.
Officers were in a search for a suspect after an incident involving a knife in St Blazey in Cornwall and an elderly couple were found dead at their home in Torquay.
In the Torquay case, police cordoned off a house on Drake Avenue and confirmed that a couple in their 80s had been found dead at around 11am.
Officers said: “Police are investigating the circumstances leading to their deaths, but would like to reassure the local community no one else is being looked for in relation to this incident at this time.”
Looking back to Good Friday, a man had to be rescued from the water by a lifeboat crew after being swept out to sea when his boat capsized off the Devon coast.
According to a witness, the boat keeled over as it left Axmouth, throwing the man and another passenger into the freezing water. Although one of the men was able to swim to shore, the other was reportedly washed 300 metres out to sea before being rescued by the Sidmouth lifeboat. Lyme Regis Lifeboat also took part in the rescue.
Meanwhile coastguards at Bude in Cornwall were alerted to what was thought to be a whale in difficulty at Widemouth Bay – only to find it was a rock.
The coastguards said the concerned member of the public did the right thing, as it could have been a real emergency. Bude Coastguard Rescue Team were paged at 7:38pm on Friday and alerted of the supposed creature in difficulty.
They said: “With the very calm and high springtide, the silhouettes of the rock did, indeed, resemble a large floating object. The team would much rather be called to a false alarm with good intent them not be called to a real emergency.”
Lifeboat crews also rescued a pair of kayakers who were exhausted and freezing cold in the waters of Mount’s Bay as well as towing a fishing boat taking on water back to St Ives.
Meanwhile, back in Devon on Saturday, two people were also taken to hospital after a fire destroyed a living room of a house in South Devon. Devon and Somerset Fire & Rescue Service received reports of a fire within the property on Redburn Road, Paignton at 10am.
Fire control immediately sent two fire engines from Paignton and found the ground floor living room destroyed.
On the roads, fire crews from South Molton and Barnstaple were mobilised to two separate car fires on the A361. The first incident at Moortown cross involved a Vauxhall with a fire in the engine compartment. The second incident at Ash Mill involved a BMW on fire.
A young boy also then rushed to hospital after being hit by a car in Exeter . The incident occurred on Okehampton Street at 11.17am by the Royal Oak pub.
The child – who police say was about seven or eight years old – was taken to hospital as a precaution. Police said his injuries are not believed to be life-threatening or life-changing.
Then in the afternoon, a woman was airlifted to hospital after falling on rocks on Dawlish Warren beach.
It happened just after 2pm after reports that the woman had fallen off the seawall onto the rocks below. The coastguard helicopter landed on the beach and the woman was taken to hospital. The extent of her injuries are not known.
Exmouth RNLI revealed the woman was given morphine at the scene.
Another person was airlifted to hospital after an incident in a busy East Devon park in the afternoon.
Police and ambulance were both called to Phear Park in Exmouth at roughly 4.30pm after reports a male cyclist had been involved in a collision. South Western Ambulance Service confirmed they were called to the park after reports of a seriously injured male.
Back in Cornwall, the emergency services were called to a taxi which had crashed on Trenovisick Road in St Blazey. It was reported that children were playing nearby although no one is believed to have been hurt.
There were also three major fire related incidents in Cornwall on Saturday.
Firefighters from Penzance and St Ives tackled a 100-metre wide gorse fire in a valley at Ludgvan in West Cornwall. Two fire engine crews from Penzance and a third from St Ives were called out at 4pm. They used water jets and beaters to bring the flames under control.
At practically the same time, two fire crews from Lostwithiel and Bodmin were called to a barn on fire at Fairy Cross, near Lostwithiel. The barn and a section of hedge were destroyed in the blaze.
Meanwhile, people enjoying some time in the sun on Perranporth beach were stunned to see another grass fire, just after 4pm. Smoke and flames quickly spread across a hillside beside the beach. Firefighters using beaters were once again called to stop it spreading.
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