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RNLI Skegness and Humber launch to vessel in distress off Skegness

Lifeboats News Release

Skegness' all-weather lifeboat launched in response to a distress call from a lone vessel operator situated east of Skegness in the early evening of Friday 10 November 2023.


Skegness RNLI lifeboat launching on service

The request for assistance occurred on the early evening of 10 November 2023, resulting in a service launch commencing at approximately 5:00 pm, lasting into the early hours of Saturday morning.

The distress call originated from a 75-foot motor vessel located approximately two miles east of Skegness. Humber Coastguard tasked Skegness RNLI's all-weather lifeboat, The Joel and April Grunnill, after expressing concerns for the vessel's seaworthiness and inability to continue on with its passage south.

With clear evening skies and moderate sea conditions at launch, the all-weather lifeboat's highly-trained volunteer crew, led by Deputy 2nd Coxswain Lee St Quinton, navigated to the distressed vessel's location, and the lifeboat arrived on the scene at approximately 5:30 pm. Upon reaching the distressed vessel, it was determined that intervention was necessary to address the equipment malfunction on board the vessel.

'Raising the alarm promptly using Channel 16 on their VHF radio and seeking assistance when a vessel loses critical mechanical functions that impact its seaworthiness can make the difference between a safe return and a dangerous situation. Martin, our Trainee all-weather lifeboat Mechanic was able to repair the craft's auxiliary generator and restore some power to the vessel aiding the rescue.

As a vessel operator taking action in a timely manner is paramount in ensuring the safety of both the crew and the vessel.' explained Lee St Quinton, Deputy Second Coxswain at RNLI Skegness.

Two volunteer crew members were deployed to the vessel to provide assistance in resolving the generator issue. During the search and rescue operation, the vessel experienced later steering problems, causing it to drift closer to a wind farm. The initial plan was to escort the vessel under its own power to the nearby safe haven, however, considering the vessel's worsening condition, darkness, and the sea conditions, the coxswain, Lee St Quinton, decided that towing the craft would be the safer alternative to prevent any potential collisions with obstacles or other vessels.

Following a period of time under tow, the Humber Coastguard made the decision to task Humber RNLI Lifeboat Pride of the Humber to take over the tow of the vessel and take it to a nearby harbour where the vessel can be assessed in a safe location.

Skegness' all-weather lifeboat passed the vessel over the Humber's all-weather lifeboat at approximately 12:30 am on Saturday morning and then returned to station.

Skegness's Shannon class all-weather lifeboat was commanded by Deputy Second Coxswain, Lee St Quinton, assisted by volunteer crew members Mark Holley, Nick Smith, Martin Stokes, Ryan Speed, and Billy Brookes.

'Our volunteer crew members demonstrate unwavering dedication and expert seamanship in this evening's service launch. Their commitment to ensuring the safety of those at sea is exemplary. This service launch serves as a testament to their diligence and the professionalism they bring to their vital role in maritime search and rescue.' commented Lifeboat Operations Manager, Paul Simpson.

The charity's lifeboat arrived back at Skegness Central Beach, and the crew debriefed following the service launch around 2:30 am. 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]


Still shot from the helmet camera on board Skegness RNLI


Still shot from the helmet camera on board Skegness RNLI during the transfer with Humber RNLI.


Still shot from the helmet camera on board Skegness RNLI

RNLI/Brad Johnson

Lee St Quinton, Deputy 2nd Coxswain

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.