Launch: 5th October 2006
Thursday 5 October 2006
Author: Ben Hardaker
Beacon launches lifeboat
Skegness RNLI all weather lifeboat The Lincolnshire Poacher was called out just after 5.30pm on Thursday following an alert raised by Yarmouth Coastguard. An emergency beacon known as an epirb had been triggered and the signal picked up by a satellite in orbit, which gave the position as four miles east of Gibraltar Point, near Skegness.
These beacons are automatic systems designed to transmit a mayday signal when they are in the sea and the signal is picked up by satellite and relayed to The Coastguard Agency, they work all over the world and pinpoint a vessel in distress.
The Skegness lifeboat was assisted by motor vessel Maple, which was in the area at the time but after searching for almost three-and-a-half hours and with nothing found and no other reported distress messages Yarmouth Coastguard called off the search.
The cause was a mystery as the satellite plotted the beacon as being at sea. On previous occasions there have been hoax signals from on land but this time a hoax was unlikely so it could possibly be that a beacon had fallen from another boat unknown to the skipper and that its battery failed shortly after.