Broken down fishing vessel towed off Skegness beach by RNLI lifeboats

Skegness lifeboat Lincolnshire Poacher pulling FV Jolene off Skegness beach. Photo by RNLI/Craig Willard.
Skegness lifeboat Lincolnshire Poacher pulling FV Jolene off Skegness beach. Photo by RNLI/Craig Willard.

The RNLI were called out yesterday morning (Thursday) to assist a 47ft fishing vessel aground on the beach at Skegness.

Both lifeboats attended to help the FV Jolene, from King’s Lynn, which had suffered engine failure and was blowing close ashore by a strong north easterly wind.

With her fishing gear still out, the crew managed to get an anchor overboard to try to steady the vessel, but they were already in too shallow water and quickly found themselves aground on the beach to the south of the Lincolnshire resort.

The volunteer crew of the inshore lifeboat Peterborough Beer Festival IV and the all-weather lifeboat Lincolnshire Poacher launched at 8am and were soon on scene with the casualty, just a mile south of the lifeboat station.

Gavin Abbott, Deputy 2nd Coxswain in command of the Lincolnshire Poacher, said it looked like a difficult task to get the vessel off the beach.

Gavin explained: “This was clearly a very big, heavy vessel, in very shallow water. But before we could worry about getting her off the beach we had to get a tow rope across.”

With her fishing nets and anchor still out, the inshore lifeboat was sent in to pass the tow rope to the FV Jolene.

Helmsman Matt Jackson carefully manoeuvred the inshore lifeboat close to the vessel. “We had a very small target to aim for between the nets and the anchor line. With the breaking surf pushing the lifeboat around it wasn’t straightforward but it’s what we train for and we managed to get the job done,” he said.

Once the tow rope was secured, the Lincolnshire Poacher proceeded to tow the vessel into deeper water and south towards the Wash.

Having managed to restart her engine, and with an escort from her sister vessel the FV Audrina, the FV Jolene continued back towards King’s Lynn while the lifeboats headed back to Skegness.

“In the end this was a relatively brief call out, but a very good demonstration of the different capabilities of our two lifeboats, and the crew, working well together,” Gavin added.

After recovery onto their launching vehicles the Skegness lifeboats were refuelled and ready for service again just before noon.