Four yachtsmen rescued off Lincolnshire coast at outer limit of mobile phone range

Four yachtsmen were rescued from a leaking yacht off Skegness on Sunday after being dismasted and fouling their propeller in the rigging.

Lincolnshire rescue services were alerted to a yacht in distress by a number of almost unintelligible mobile phone calls at around 8AM on Sunday morning. Yarmouth Coastguard were able to triangulate the call and position the casualty approximately 2 miles off Skegness, at the very limit of mobile phone range.

Lifeboats located the yacht, a 23ft sloop called Piglet II, which had lost her mast. There was rigging around the propeller which had caused damage to the stern gland and created a leak.

Of the four people on board, one was very dehydrated from a nine-hour bout of sea sickness. The distressed crew members were taken aboard Skegness Lifeboat and taken to Grimsby and then to hospital, while the yacht was towed to port. A second mission also managed to recover the yacht’s dinghy and tow that back as well.

Yarmouth Coastguard Watch Manager, Peter Wheeler said that the incident could have been much more serious: “If they had drifted another mile or two offshore there would have been no communications at all.”

Skegness RNLI Coxswain, John Irving, said: “We needed all our equipment for this rescue, cutting equipment, pumps, first aid, towing lines – these four were in real trouble.”