RNLI update on St Helier lifeboat station

Lifeboats Statement

The following statement can be attributed to the RNLI’s Head of Lifesaving, Will Stephens.

‘We want to thank everyone who has supported us during the last few days, reassure the community that we are committed to returning a lifeboat service to St Helier as quickly as possible, and provide an update on our progress.

We are committed to rebuilding an RNLI lifeboat service in St Helier and we are confident we will have an efficient, reliable and sustainable RNLI lifeboat service in the near future.

We are making good progress and are aiming to get the St Helier inshore lifeboat back on service by mid-December. We are on track to get the Jersey all-weather lifeboat back on the island for training by the end of the year, if not sooner.

About a dozen people have already approached us to express an interest in volunteering at the station. We will be talking to these individuals in the next few days as we begin a recruitment process next week for new crew and other station roles.

We have designed a bespoke training programme which will start on Saturday (25 November) on the inshore lifeboat in St Helier. Taking part in this is a combination of RNLI volunteers and Fire and Rescue boat crews from Jersey. We are also arranging training on the Jersey all-weather lifeboat George Sullivan at the RNLI’s purpose built training facility in Poole.

We have spoken to our RNLI shop volunteers and agreed that the shop, which would usually close in mid-December for the winter season, will close from now until Easter when it is scheduled to reopen for the summer season. In the meantime, the volunteers will focus on making the most of opportunities to organise RNLI shop stalls at local markets and events and will be at the Central Market in early December. The RNLI fundraising volunteers are still working tirelessly to raise money for the charity and are holding their annual Christmas Bazaar today (Thursday 23 November).

Strong leadership, teamwork and professional relationships are essential to all emergency services. The RNLI relies on its crews and stations to save lives at sea, and this relationship is dependent not only on maritime expertise, but adhering to collaborative and co-operative ways of working. We’re committed to building these relationships and this collaborative way of working as we work to restore a lifesaving service from St Helier.

We’re encouraged by the progress we’re making and the support from the community, the States of Jersey and our search and rescue colleagues as we work together towards restoring a lifeboat service to St Helier as quickly as possible.’

Notes to Editors

· Will Stephens, Head of Lifesaving, will be available for interview from 10am – 1pm on Thursday 23 November at St Catherine’s Lifeboat Station, Route de St Catherine, St Catherine’s, JE2 3QA. Please contact Isla Reynolds or the Press Office (details below) to arrange an interview.

· Anyone wanting to find out more about volunteering as crew or in other roles at the RNLI St Helier station should contact Ollie Arthur, RNLI Volunteering Advisor, at Ollie_Arthur@rnli.org.uk.

RNLI media contacts

To arrange an interview or for more information please telephone Isla Reynolds, Senior Media Engagement Manager on 07899076224 or contact RNLI Public Relations on 01202 336789 or pressoffice@rnli.org.uk.

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.

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Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or or by email.