Skegness lifeboat crew forced to swim after boat sinks

Skegness lifeboat station Image copyright Google
Image caption The boat launched from Skegness Lifeboat Station

A lifeboat crew was forced to swim about 200m (656ft) back to shore after their boat sank whilst searching for a missing man.

Skegness RNLI D class inshore lifeboat was called out in the early hours to help the UK Coastguard in the search.

The three-man crew was forced to abandon the boat after it caught fire.

An eyewitness reported hearing an "explosion". A spokesperson for Skegness RNLI said: "The fire spread rapidly and the lifeboat sank."

"The three volunteer crew followed emergency procedures, making a Mayday call and then abandoning the lifeboat to swim approximately 200 metres to shore. All three are safe and uninjured," the spokesperson added.

A Coastguard helicopter and a lifeboat from Mablethorpe continued the search for the missing person, who was later found safe and well on land.

Image caption The boat that sank is an RNLI D class inshore lifeboat like the one pictured above

Eyewitness Barry Dobson, who lives in Winthorpe, said: "It was like there was an explosion - a thud in your chest."

The RNLI has launched an investigation into the incident. It has also been reported to the Marine Accident Investigation Branch.

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