Clothes left on beach sparks major search off Lincolnshire coast
Sunday 21 June 2015
Author: Russell Matthews
Two RNLI (Royal National Lifeboat Institution) lifeboats from Skegness joined local coastguard teams, police, and a coastguard rescue helicopter last night (Saturday) in a major search operation off the Lincolnshire coast following the discovery of a pile of clothes left on Skegness central beach.
The clothes were found at 8pm by inshore lifeboat crew members returning from an earlier false alarm call, when reports of a jet skier in trouble off Ingoldmells turned out to be a small fishing boat.
Having reported the clothes to Humber coastguard, the crew were requested to re-launch the lifeboat to search the area for anyone in the sea. The all-weather lifeboat Lincolnshire Poacher was requested to launch shortly afterwards.
As local coastguard and police teams searched the beach a coastguard rescue helicopter from Humberside Airport was also brought in to join the operation, with the search area widened to six miles south of Skegness and up to four miles offshore.
When further information emerged from off-duty lifeguards about a man who went for a swim and returned safely to the beach and was thought to have left some clothes on the beach, Humber coastguard called off the search at 10:15pm.
Lifeboat coxswain Ray Chapman said that if someone had gone for a swim and not returned the chances of finding them were extremely slim:
‘We didn’t know if or when this person may have gone in the water so we had a huge area of sea to search. Fortunately, no one has been reported missing and it seems certain that this person is safe ashore somewhere.’
Ray added: ‘To avoid incidents like this in the future, we would ask all beachgoers to take their clothes home with them, or use the bins provided on the beach if they are no longer needed.’
Both Skegness lifeboats returned to the beach at 11pm and were cleaned, re-fuelled and ready for service again just after midnight.
1. Skegness RNLI lifeboat crew members on the bow of the Skegness all-weather lifeboat Lincolnshire Poacher during a search off the Lincolnshire coast on Saturday 20 June 2015. (Credit: RNLI Skegness/Joe Pieniak) [download]
2. Skegness RNLI lifeboat crew members on the bow of the Skegness all-weather lifeboat Lincolnshire Poacher (taken through the wheelhouse window) during a search off the Lincolnshire coast on Saturday 20 June 2015. (Credit: RNLI Skegness/Joe Pieniak) [download]
3. Skegness lifeboat coxswain Ray Chapman at the helm of the all-weather lifeboat Lincolnshire Poacher with Coastguard helicopter Rescue 912 overhead during a search off the Lincolnshire coast on Saturday 20 June 2015. (Credit: RNLI Skegness/Craig Hopkins) [download]