On Sunday 7 August 2023, around 09:30 am, the RNLI Skegness all-weather lifeboat was launched to rescue a person who had been cut off by the tide near the Seacroft area of Skegness, south of Skegness Central Beach.
The inshore lifeboat (ILB) was initially requested for the service launch. However, due to the challenging sea conditions, high spring tide, and strong surf, the decision was made to launch the all-weather lifeboat instead. This change of asset is standard practice if the Helm deems the conditions too dangerous to launch the ILB. The highly skilled volunteer crew swiftly responded to the request for assistance from the UK Coastguard.
Upon reaching the reported casualty location, it was discovered that the person was actually in an inland lagoon, which had flooded due to the very high tides, which, at the time were around 7.16 metres.
Deputy 2nd Coxswain, Lee St Quinton, emphasised the importance of checking the tide times and conditions before walking near the coast. ‘It is crucial to be aware of tidal movements and surf conditions, as they can quickly change and put individuals at risk’, he stated. He further emphasised the necessity of always having means of calling for help by dialling 999 or 112 and asking for the Coastguard in case of emergencies near, or on the sea.
After providing essential assistance to the shore-based Coastguard Rescue Team, the all-weather lifeboat was stood down and returned to the station. The person in distress was led to safety by the local Coastguard Rescue Team as the tide retreated and the water levels reduced enough to ensure a safe route was created for the casualty.
Following the launch, RNLI Skegness Beach Lifeguards assessed the ongoing situation and determined that the strong tides and surf posed a severe hazard to swimmers in the area. As a precaution, the lifeguarded part of Skegness Central Beach was 'Red Flagged' for approximately two hours. This designation indicates that water conditions are unsafe for swimming and other activities, urging people to avoid entering the water until the Red and Yellow flag returns.
Skegness's Shannon class all-weather lifeboat was commanded by Deputy 2nd Coxswain, Lee St Quinton, assisted by volunteer crew members Craig Hopkins, Mark Holley, James Porter, Billy Brookes, and Ryan Speed.
The charity’s lifeboat arrived back at Skegness Central Beach, and the crew debriefed following the service launch. Then they washed down and refuelled the Joel and April Grunnill to ensure the lifeboat was ready for the next emergency.
RNLI Skegness remains dedicated to its mission of saving lives at sea, utilising its expert volunteer crews and state-of-the-art lifeboats to serve the community and ensure public safety.
Notes to editor
The RNLI is the Royal National Lifeboat Institution.
Skegness RNLI is based on Tower Esplanade, Skegness. The lifeboat station was founded in 1825 and the volunteer crew use an all-weather Shannon class lifeboat Joel and April Grunnill.
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For further information, please contact:
Brad Johnson, Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer for lifeboat station RNLI on [email protected]
Key facts about the RNLI
The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.
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