Skegness RNLI lifeboat was called out for the second time in four days yesterday (Tuesday) when a yacht sent out a Mayday distress call off the Lincolnshire coast.
The two-man crew of the yacht Dolphin of Rhu were on passage from Wells, on the Norfolk coast, to Grimsby when they began taking on water and suffered engine failure about 10 miles east of Mablethorpe.
A Mayday call was issued at 7.36am asking for immediate assistance. This was received by Humber Coastguard who requested the launch of both Skegness and Humber RNLI lifeboats, along with Coastguard helicopter Rescue 912, based at Humberside Airport.
The Mayday call was also heard by two of Centrica Energy’s wind farm support vessels who were on their way to the wind farms off Skegness. Windcat 9 and Windcat 17 were able to quickly locate the yacht and offer assistance.
Skegness lifeboat coxswain Ray Chapman said the Windcats had done a great job responding to the Mayday.
Ray said: “We have an excellent working relationship with the Windcat crews and they were a huge help today, quickly locating the casualty and providing us with a more precise location. They were also able to reassure the two guys on board that help was on its way.”
Windcat 9 began towing the yacht towards Grimsby until further help arrived, with Windcat 17 standing by if needed. Skegness lifeboat crew members Matt Jackson and Joe Pieniak were transferred onto the yacht to assess the situation when the lifeboat arrived at 8.45am.
The tow was transferred to Skegness lifeboat and continued towards Grimsby while the crew of the yacht were taken on board Humber lifeboat to be airlifted by Rescue 912 to Humberside airport. They were described as cold and wet, but otherwise OK.
Humber lifeboat took over the tow to Grimsby allowing Skegness lifeboat to head back to station, reaching Skegness beach just after 11am.
The Lincolnshire Poacher had previously been in action on Saturday (May 9) when a lone yachtsman was towed from Skegness to Wells.
Ray added: “We went nearly five months without being called out. Now we’ve had two successful shouts in four days. It’s good to know the training pays off and that we’re ready for a potentially busy summer season.”