Coxswain invited to return to St Helier Lifeboat Station

Lifeboats Statement

The RNLI has today announced the outcome of its review into the standing down of St Helier lifeboat volunteer Coxswain.

On 6 April 2017 the RNLI asked Andy Hibbs to stand down from his position as volunteer Coxswain at St Helier lifeboat because of serious breaches of the charity’s Volunteer Code of Conduct, and in line with its Problem Solving Policy. Andy challenged this decision.

The outcome of a fair and comprehensive internal review has upheld Andy’s challenge.

The RNLI accepts these findings and has invited Andy to return to the lifeboat station as volunteer Coxswain on condition that he signs and adheres to the charity’s Volunteer Code of Conduct and Andy has agreed to do this.

The investigation found that on a previous occasion, the RNLI did not meet the high standards of support and fairness that we expect and this contributed to the subsequent breakdown in relationships. Because of this, while the recent decision to stand down Andy would ordinarily be justified, the review recognises that Andy’s behaviour could be attributed to previous actions by the RNLI and upheld his challenge to the decision.

We would like to apologise to Andy and reassure him, and the Jersey community, that we will be working hard to meet these standards in the future.

Andy has in turn recognised that his behaviour has not always been in keeping with the RNLI’s expectations and has committed to adhering to the charity’s Volunteer Code of Conduct.

We recognise that this has been a difficult time for all those involved. We will now focus on moving forward to rebuild relationships with the St Helier crew, the RNLI and the Jersey community, and work alongside our emergency service colleagues, States of Jersey and Ports of Jersey to restore a safe, effective and inclusive local volunteer lifeboat service. To also provide dedicated support in this transition period we will be recruiting a full-time Station Manager.

Notes to Editors:

  • Interviews will be available from 2-3:30 pm at St Helier Lifeboat Station

o Will Stephens - Head of Lifesaving

· The Volunteer code of Conduct can be found here: RNLI News Centre

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The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates over 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.

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