An investigation is underway to find out why the Skegness RNLI D class inshore lifeboat caught fire and sank.

The RNLI has begin an investigation to find out the cause of a fire on the Skegness RNLI D class inshore lifeboat.

The three-man crew was called out in the early hours of 20 May to help the UK Coastguard search for a missing person.

But, they were forced to abandon their vessel when it caught fire. The crew members had to swim around 200 metres to shore. The lifeboat later sank.

An RNLI spokesman said: “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 fire spread rapidly and the lifeboat sank,” continued the spokesman.

The Skegness all-weather lifeboat, Mablethorpe inshore lifeboat and a Coastguard helicopter continued the search for the missing man, who was later found safe and well on land.

The D class lifeboat is in the process of being safely recovered but is thought to be badly damaged.

“A replacement lifeboat from the RNLI relief fleet is on its way to Skegness,” said the spokesman.

The RNLI has launched an investigation into the incident.

It has also been reported to the Marine Accident Investigation Branch.