Seven-hour rescue for Skegness RNLI after boat becomes stranded in The Wash

Skegness RNLI member Craig Hopkins recovers the tow line from MV Elizabeth after she was towed to deeper water. Photo by RNLI.
Skegness RNLI member Craig Hopkins recovers the tow line from MV Elizabeth after she was towed to deeper water. Photo by RNLI.

The Skegness RNLI volunteers came to the rescue on Saturday when a boat ran aground on a sandbar in The Wash.

The all-weather lifeboat Lincolnshire Poacher was called after a 42ft converted lifeboat, with two people aboard, went aground on the Wrangle Flats, 12 miles south of Skegness.

The MV Elizabeth was on its way from Wisbech to Grimsby when it ran aground around noon, north-west of the Freeman channel.

The Lincolnshire Poacher lifeboat launched at 12.45pm.

On his first call out commanding the lifeboat and her volunteer crew, Deputy Second Coxswain Gavin Abbott took the lifeboat within a few hundred yards of the casualty but with the tide having fallen further since she went aground, there was very little that could be done.

Gavin explained: ‘By the time we arrived she was high and dry, several feet out of the water.

“But the two guys on board were in no immediate danger and seemed happy to wait for the tide to return. I decided we should stand off in deeper water in case assistance was required when they refloated.”

The lifeboat crew dropped anchor shortly after 2pm, expecting to be waiting several hours for the tide to return.

At 6pm, the MV Elizabeth was floating again, but was unable to engage her propeller without stalling the engine.

With the wind and tide pushing her further towards the shore a tow line was thrown across.

Once both vessels were safely in deeper water the MV Elizabeth was able to engage her propeller. The RNLI crew escorted the vessel towards Boston, with the lifeboat following her to the river entrance. The RNLI crew were back in Skegness just after 8pm.

Gavin added: “It’s good to get my first call out as Coxswain under my belt.

“Lifeboating is a team effort and I’d like to thank the crew for their help and hard work today ensuring a successful outcome to this rescue.”