Two lives saved by Skegness RNLI lifeboats

Monday 12 July 2010

Author: Russell Matthews

Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) lifeboats at Skegness have had another busy weekend, launching on six separate occasions on Sunday, saving two lives.

The Inshore Lifeboat (ILB) launched at 11:55am yesterday morning (Sunday) following reports of two children on an inflatable dinghy, blowing out to sea at Ingoldmells Point.

With a crew already at the boathouse, the ILB launched quickly and proceeded towards the scene, with further reports of swimmers trying to swim out to the dinghy also getting into difficulties.

As the ILB approached Ingoldmells Point, local Coastguards confirmed all the swimmers had made it safe ashore allowing the lifeboat to head directly for the inflatable.

The two young boys on board - aged just four and five years old - had stayed in the boat as it drifted nearly 1 mile out to sea with the strong offshore wind. Cold and upset, and very eager to get back on dry land, the boys were brought onto the lifeboat and warmed up during the short run back to the beach to their anxious parents and waiting Coastguards.

Inshore Lifeboat Senior Helmsman Tony Kelly said the boys were very lucky:
"The dinghy had been blown a long, long way out to sea when we arrived on scene. Fortunately the boys had stayed on board enabling us to locate them quickly and get them safely back to the beach."

The incident was the first of a number of launches for the Skegness lifeboats on Sunday, including:

Reports of two inflatable dinghies being blown offshore from Butlins at 3:40pm. Each had two people on board but were able to make it safely ashore before the ILB arrived. The lifeboat was then called back to Skegness to search the shoreline for a missing child, later found safe ashore.

A 999 call at 4:55pm reporting a swimmer in difficulties while trying to retrieve a beach ball that was blowing out to sea. The ILB launched and recovered several balls, but the swimmer made it ashore without assistance.

The ILB launched again at 5:20pm to perform a shoreline search at Skegness for a missing 78 year old woman, later found safe ashore.

Major search off Lincolnshire Coast

At 5:25pm the Skegness All-weather Lifeboat (ALB) was requested to help RNLI lifeboats from Mablethorpe search for what was thought to be a kite surfer, reported to be in trouble about seven miles off Mablethorpe.

The lifeboat, with seven volunteer crew members on board, headed north to begin the search. An RAF rescue helicopter joined the search, along with a fixed-wing HM Coastguard search and rescue plane.

Second Coxswain and On-scene Coordinator Ray Chapman said the lifeboats had a vast search area to cover:
"We were asked to search an area from Mablethorpe in the north all the way down to Skegness in the south - and up to seven miles out to sea."

Skegness ILB was requested to join the search at 8:30pm, with the task of searching the Lynn wind farm, three miles east of the town.

At 9:40pm, with nothing found and no one reported missing, the search was called off by Yarmouth Coastguards and the incident put down to being a false alarm with good intent.

The lifeboats returned to Skegness to be washed down and refuelled, with the crew able to get home at around 11:30pm after yet another busy weekend.

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