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Aground jet ski rescued just south of Skegness

Lifeboats News Release

An adventurous day out at sea took an unexpected turn for a jet ski rider near Seal Island, who found themselves stranded due to low tide.


RNLI Skegness on scene on service launch

Thanks to the craft operator's quick thinking and the swift response of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) Skegness volunteer crew, the casualty was brought ashore to safety. The lifeboat was requested at approximately 3pm on Sunday, 3 September 2023.

The inshore lifeboat (ILB) was put on immediate readiness after the Humber Coastguard received a distress call. Though in good health, the stranded individual had run aground just south of Skegness.

The volunteer lifeboat crew was led by Helm Martin Stokes and included Trainee Helms Ryan Speed and Billy Brookes onboard during the service call.

Upon reaching the reported position, the volunteer crew assessed both the stranded individual and the condition of the craft. It was clear that the casualty was fatigued, hungry, and dehydrated due to prolonged exposure at sea under the sun.

With approximately three hours left until the tide would rise enough to refloat the pleasure craft, the decision was made to bring the individual back to the local boat club at Jackson's Corner for relief. A local pleasure craft owner following an initial assessment the crew, took the casualty back to the Boat Club.

The jet ski was anchored securely, with the Coastguard informed of the location, and arrangements were made for a local boat club member to safely return the casualty to the Jet Ski around 6.30pm once the tide had risen.

Helm Martin Stokes stressed the importance of having a means of contacting the coastguard and praised the casualty for raising the alarm. 'Their quick thinking undoubtedly prevented further complications. This incident serves as a reminder of how crucial it is to have a reliable way to contact rescue services when out at sea,' said Stokes.

Launch Authority Brad Johnson added a reminder for craft owners about the importance of being aware of tide times. 'It's easy to overlook how tides can affect the water depth around our coastline. We urge everyone to check tide times before setting out and to exercise caution around raised bodies of land usually covered on higher tides.'

If you find yourself in an emergency situation or spot someone else in trouble, you should call 999 or 112 and ask for the coastguard. If you are inland and see someone in difficulty on the water, be it on a river or a lake, you should ask for Fire and Rescue when you call for help.

If you are at the coast or taking part in an inshore activity such as jet skiing, then a mobile phone might be the best and easiest means of calling for help, as you are likely to have one anyway. You should ensure your phone is fully charged before heading out, and might want to take a portable charger.

  • Keep your mobile in a waterproof pouch. You should carry this on your person so it’s within easy reach – it’s no use if you can’t reach it.
  • Smart phones can provide a location, but emergency calls should be made by voice (call 999 or 112 and ask for the Coastguard). Text messages and map locations are often no use to the Coastguard.
  • Even if your phone shows no service, try calling 999 or 112 anyway as in an emergency your phone will be able to use another phone network. Please note that with some devices, repeatedly pressing the power button can activate an emergency call with your location.
  • The RYA SafeTrx app can be used to log, track and send alerts about your trip. Visit

The charity’s inshore lifeboat arrived back at Skegness Central Beach at around 4:30 pm, and the crew debriefed following the service launch. Then they washed down and refuelled the inshore lifeboat to ensure the lifeboat was ready for the next emergency.

This successful rescue operation underscores the vital role RNLI Skegness volunteer crew plays in maritime safety along the Lincolnshire coastline and demonstrates the crew members' dedication to respond swiftly and effectively to any emergency situation.

Notes to editors

  • 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 inshore D class lifeboat The Holland Family.
  • This week the RNLI launched its latest Launch a Memory lifeboat which will act as a relief vessel at stations across the British Isles. It proudly carries the names of 10,000 loved ones as part of the charity's latest fundraiser. More details can be seen here.

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


RNLI Skegness on route to service launch


Martin Stokes, Helm

RNLI/Brad Johnson

Ryan Speed, Trainee Helm

RNLI/Brad Johnson

Billy Brookes, Trainee Helm


Guidance on Mobile Phones

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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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.