RAF helicopter and Skegness RNLI lifeboats in late-night search for lost jet skier

BOTH Skegness RNLI lifeboats and an RAF helicopter were involved in a dramtic night-time rescue overnight on Thursday and Fridayafter a jet skier got lost in the treacherous waters of the Wash.

The two lifeboats, Lincolnshire Poacher and Peterborough Beer Festival IV, were requested to launch at 10.45pm on Thursday and tasked to search the water to the south of Skegness and towards the sand banks and firing range south of Gibraltar Point.

Contact was made with the jet skier by mobile phone but apart from being able to communicate that he was somewhere in shallow water in the area of the firing range, his location could not be accurately determined.

Local coastguards and RAF helicopter ‘Rescue 128’ were also involved in the search, with the helicopter crew locating the man at 12.40am, two-and-a-half miles south-west of Gibraltar Point.

All-weather lifeboat Coxswain, John Irving, said the jet skier was lucky contact could be made by mobile phone.

John said: “We understand he had been trying to get from Boston to Skegness earlier in the day but ran aground during the falling tide.

“He later returned to his jet ski at high water to continue his journey but became disorientated in the darkness.’

John added: “The Wash is a very big area to get lost in so he was very fortunate he was able to get a mobile phone signal to raise the alarm and narrow down his location.”

Having winched him aboard the helicopter, the casualty was taken to coastguards on the bank and driven back to Skegness to be reunited with his family at the lifeboat station.

The two lifeboats returned to Skegness to be recovered, refuelled and washed down, with the volunteer crews heading home at 2.30am.