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A busy day for RNLI Skegness with two reports of paddleboarders in distress

Lifeboats News Release

Swift response to two distress calls involving paddleboarders demonstrates dedication and professionalism of volunteer crew.

RNLI/Brad Johnson

Skegness Inshore Lifeboat

RNLI Skegness had a demanding day on Saturday, 29 July 2023, responding to two separate distress calls involving paddleboarders. The volunteer crew's dedication, professionalism, and swift action ensured the safety of all individuals involved, demonstrating their unwavering commitment to saving lives at sea.

The first call occurred at 12:34 pm, with reports of two paddleboarders in distress at a considerable distance from the shore. Upon arriving on the scene, it was discovered that the paddleboarders were a young boy and his grandfather, struggling against the offshore breeze. This launch was commanded by Craig Hopkins, assisted by crew Ryan Speed and Martin Stokes.

Senior Lifeguard Liam entered the water on a rescue board while Eloise coordinated the launch of Skegness ILB by calling Humber Coastguard. Lifeguard Lily kept her eyes on the flagged zone during the incident.

The RNLI Skegness lifeboat crew swiftly reached the pair aboard their inshore lifeboat (ILB). The boy was rescued first and given initial casualty care assessments on board the ILB before being transferred to East Midlands Ambulance Service waiting ashore. Meanwhile, the RNLI lifeguards on duty assisted the grandfather back to the beach.

Skegness RNLI Lifeboat Station Helm Martin Stokes emphasised the importance of swift action in such scenarios. 'If you are in trouble or see someone else in danger, don't hesitate to raise the alarm,' he advised. 'It's also crucial to remember not to use inflatables, especially in an offshore breeze. The sea is unpredictable and can quickly turn a fun day into a potentially dangerous situation.'

The second call occurred at 2:43 pm, reporting two more paddleboarders off Vickers Point in Ingoldmells. Despite dealing with crowded beaches and swimmers in the area, the crew arrived at the scene within eight minutes. Both individuals were found on the beach; one suffered from chest pains and required immediate medical attention.

The RNLI crew provided initial medical care until the Coastguard Rescue Team and Ambulance Service arrived. Martin Stokes commanded this launch, assisted by crew Ryan Speed and James Porter.

The on-duty Deputy Launching Authority, Brad Johnson, praised his fellow volunteers' exemplary work on this busy day. 'Today's offshore breeze presented challenging conditions, but our crew navigated them skillfully and efficiently,' he said. 'Their dedication ensured the swift and safe rescue of these individuals. I am proud to work alongside such a committed team.'

RNLI Skegness would like to remind everyone to remain vigilant and alert the authorities immediately if they see anyone in distress.

Notes to Editors

The RNLI is the Royal National Lifeboat Institution.

The D class inshore lifeboat (ILB) is highly manoeuvrable and operates closer to shore than the all-weather lifeboats. It is an inflatable boat that comes into its own for rescues in the surf, shallow water and confined locations. Skegness has had an inshore lifeboat since 1964, after they were introduced to the RNLI.

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 and D class lifeboat The Holland Family.

RNLI media contacts

For further information, please contact:

Brad Johnson, Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer for lifeboat station RNLI on [email protected]

RNLI Press Office: [email protected]

RNLI/Brad Johnson

Skegness Inshore Lifeboat

RNLI/Brad Johnson

Craig Hopkins, Skegness RNLI Helm

RNLI/Brad Johnson

Martin Stokes, Skegness RNLI Helm

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.

Learn more about the RNLI

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.