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RNLI Skegness all-weather lifeboat launches to assist lone sailor

Lifeboats News Release

Skegness' all-weather lifeboat launched in response to a distress call from a lone sailor situated 14 miles east of Ingoldmells in the late hours of Saturday 12 August 2023.


Yacht in distress during service launch

The request for assistance occurred on the night of 12 August 2023, resulting in a service launch commencing at approximately 11:57 pm, lasting into the early hours of Sunday morning.

The distress call originated from a 32-foot yacht located approximately 14 miles east of Ingoldmells. Humber Coastguard tasked Skegness RNLI's all-weather lifeboat, The Joel and April Grunnill, after expressing concerns for the safety and wellbeing of the lone sailor.

With clear night skies and slight sea conditions at launch, the all-weather lifeboat's highly-trained volunteer crew navigated to the distressed vessel's location, and the lifeboat arrived on scene at approximately 00:50 am.

'I commend the sailor for their swift action in raising the alarm at the right time, ensuring that assistance could reach them promptly. I extend my gratitude to the sailor for their professionalism, as well as the Skegness crew and the crew of Wells RNLI for their collaboration and excellent seamanship during this service launch.' explained Lee St Quinton, Deputy Second Coxswain at RNLI Skegness.

Upon arrival, the volunteer crew, led by Deputy Second Coxswain Lee St Quinton, assessed the yacht and the lone sailor onboard. After assessing the vessel, the Coxswain transferred a volunteer crew member onto the craft. The initial plan was to escort the vessel under its own power to the nearby safe haven at Wells-next-the-Sea, where the Wells Lifeboat would take over the escort.

However, considering the yacht's condition and the worsening sea conditions, which had become rough as the wind and tide changed, the Coxswain, Lee St Quinton, decided that towing the craft would be the safer alternative. With utmost caution and precision, the all-weather lifeboat securely established a towline between the lifeboat and the vessel. It reached a rendezvous point with Wells RNLI Lifeboat in The Wash.

The handover occurred at approximately 3:30am with Wells' all-weather lifeboat, The Duke of Edinburgh, which launched on service at 02:49 am to rendezvous with the Skegness lifeboat at an agreed location.

This smooth transition ensured that the yacht could continue its journey to a safe haven under the care of a lifeboat closer to the intended final destination. With the successful transfer complete, the Skegness Lifeboat commenced its return journey to Skegness in rough seas, with the service launching coming to full completion at 06:30am on Sunday, 13 August 2023, once the lifeboat was rehoused.

Skegness's Shannon class all-weather lifeboat was commanded by Deputy Second Coxswain, Lee St Quinton, assisted by volunteer crew members Joe Pieniak, Mark Holley, Nick Smith, Curtis Redford and Lyz Thein.

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 saving lives at sea, utilising its highly-trained 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.

RNLI media contacts
For further information, please contact:
Brad Johnson, Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer for lifeboat station RNLI on [email protected]
RNLI Press Office 01202 336789 or [email protected]

RNLI/Nick Walton

Skegness all-weather lifeboat launching

RNLI/Brad Johnson

Deputy 2nd Coxswain, Lee St Quinton

RNLI/Nigel Millard

Skegness all-weather lifeboat at sea


Yacht in distress during service launch

RNLI/Raff Jurek

Shore crew on Skegness beach awaiting lifeboat for recovery

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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For more information please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the News Centre.

Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or by email.