St Helier Lifeboat Station Statement
The following statement can be attributed to the RNLI’s Director of Community Lifesaving and Fundraising, Leesa Harwood.
Today is a sad day. As you know the St Helier crew met with the RNLI earlier this week to say they felt that the relationship with the RNLI is broken and that they want to establish an independent station. I have taken some time to think and speak with the chief executive and the trustees of the RNLI and I can now confirm our next steps.
It’s with regret that we have made the difficult decision to close the St Helier lifeboat station for the immediate future. It is impossible to run a station when the relationship with the RNLI and crew has broken down to this extent.
The crew have made it quite clear that they want to leave the RNLI and set up an independent lifeboat station. In the interim period, while they pursue that aim, I do not believe that they can fully commit to the RNLI. I no longer have confidence that the station can be run without constant challenges and without constant threat of crew resignation.
The lifeboat station and shop in St Helier will be closed and secured. The crew have been stood down. The RNLI has notified the coastguard that there is no longer a declared RNLI search and rescue service at St Helier.
We would like to reassure the Jersey community that St Catherine’s RNLI lifeboat station remains open and we will be doing everything we can to restore an RNLI all-weather lifeboat service to the island as quickly as possible, working alongside the States of Jersey, the coastguard and the maritime community.
Our immediate focus will be on restoring an inshore lifeboat service in St Helier. Re-establishing all-weather lifeboat cover will take a few months and in the meantime the RNLI will transfer the Tamar class lifeboat to Poole, where it will be fully serviced and stay while we make plans for the future.
I would like to thank the St Helier Crew for their service to the RNLI and recognise their time and commitment over the years. It has been very much appreciated.
RNLI media contacts
For more information please telephone Amy Caldwell, Regional Media Manager on 07920 818807 or Isla Reynolds, Strategic Media Engagement Manager on 07968946941 or contact RNLI Public Relations on 01202 336789 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Key facts about the RNLI
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.