Woman found alive after disappearing while swimming in sea off the Lincolnshire coast

Coastguard watch manager says 23-year-old 'has been very lucky'

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The Independent Online

A major search operation has found alive a "very lucky" woman who disappeared after swimming drunk off the Lincolnshire coast.

After a 999 call at 4am, Chapel St Leonards' Coastguard rescue team and the Skegness inshore lifeboat were called in, along with an RAF search-and-rescue crew based at Leconfield in East Yorkshire.

The Humber Coastguard said the 23-year-old woman, who had been drinking alcohol, was found semi-conscious on the beach near a holiday resort in Chapel St Leonards, near Skegness, early today.

A Coastguard spokesman said two men who were with the woman went into the water to search for her, adding: "A tractor driver, working on the beach, witnessed the event unfolding and went to the aid of the two men, who by now were both very cold and distressed.

"Taking over the call to the Coastguard, the tractor driver gave a running commentary of events and prevented anyone from returning to the water.

"A short while later, the female was found on the beach, semi-conscious, breathing but very cold.

"The Coastguard Rescue Team and Lifeboat crew provided first aid until all three casualties could be transferred into the care of the East Midlands Ambulance Service."

Mike Puplett, Humber Coastguard watch manager, said: "This young woman has been very lucky.

"The water temperature is only seven degrees Celsius, and this lady had been drinking.

"It is clear that drinking alcohol and going into the sea is a recipe for disaster. The message is simple and clear, don't do it."