Two rescued from drifting inflatable in offshore wind.
Wednesday 24 July 2019
Author: Adam Holmes
Volunteer crew for Skegness RNLI launched the stations D class inshore lifeboat yesterday, 24 July 2019 to reports of multiple sightings of inflatable objects along the coast north of the town, one with two people on board a quarter of a mile out to sea.
The team of three crew assembled at the station and launched the lifeboat off the towns busy central beach and immediately headed North to Chapel St Leonard where they rapidly located the small inflatable dingy with two people on, some 600 meters from the shore.
The two-meter inflatable dinghy was being propelled by a steady offshore breeze and the outgoing tide and was rapidly moving away from the shore, moving the casualties further and further from safety. Once the lifeboat arrived alongside the dingy the passengers were visibly shaken and suffering from early signs of shock as the gravity of the situation unfolded.
The casualties were taken aboard the inshore lifeboat and taken ashore where members of the local Coastguard Rescue Team helped transfer them to the RNLI lifeguard hut for some medical attention.
As the volunteer crew were returning to the RNLI lifeboat station at Skegness, they had to intervene with another inflatable with a youngster onboard, this time a rubber ring, 200 meters off shore, the young man was unaware of his situation and taken back to his parents on the water’s edge.
Will Watson, RNLI Helmsman at Skegness RNLI Lifeboat, said: ‘We were asked to assist in searching for an inflatable and luckily we were able to get to it very quickly, they were pretty shaken up but thankfully we arrived in time to prevent anything more serious developing, if we could get a message out there, it’d be that these inflatables simply don’t belong on the open water, they’re potentially deadly and unfortunately people don’t realise how easily or quickly they can drift out to sea.
Adam Holmes, Press officer for Skegness RNLI added ‘This is another serious incident involving inflatables on our stretch of coast, something we’ve seen rise rapidly in recent months, it’s an alarming trend and we’re trying hard to reduce this through education and safety messages. Inflatable rings, lilos and dinghies and such are simply not safe or suitable for use in the sea, even with the best of intentions, the risks are just not worth the consequences, leave them at home.
1. Some of the inflatables that were collected from the sea during the call out. (Credit: RNLI Skegness/Nick Walton) [download]