Skegness lifeboat crew saves three men in nine-hour rescue

Lifeboat crew members were left "borderline hypothermic" after working for nine hours in poor conditions to rescue three men on a boat.

Skegness RNLI was called out at 00:36 GMT on Sunday when a former fishing vessel, Sarah, began taking on water 17 miles north-east of Skegness.

Waves were between two and three metres high, making it too dangerous to transfer the three men to the lifeboat.

Water was pumped out of the vessel while it was towed to safety.

Skegness lifeboat coxswain John Irving said: "This was one of the longest shouts we've had for a while.

"It was a bitterly cold, windy night and a long tow down to Fosdyke where the vessel could be hoisted out of the water as soon as possible.

"The wind was picking up all the time. We must have been borderline hypothermic."

Houseboat conversion

Two of the men on board the rescued boat were suffering from seasickness and hypothermia.

Mr Irving said: "Some of our lads were sick too but they carried on working."

The former fishing vessel, which was being converted into a houseboat, was being taken from Hull Marina to Lowestoft.

Crew member Russell Matthews said: "They thought they might have hit something in the water that damaged the boat.

"I think quite a lot of water was coming in but we were able to keep up with our pump."

Two of the seven lifeboat crew initially boarded the stricken boat, taking a large water pump with them.

The steering then failed, so a third lifeboat crew member was transferred to help with the pumping and rigging the tow.

Sarah was berthed in Fosdyke Marina, near Boston, at around 07:45. The lifeboat arrived back in Skegness shortly after 09:30.

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