RNLI fundraiser interrupted by call to launch the lifeboat
A fundraising event held by the RNLI Guild was interrupted by a call from the Coastguard to launch the St Catherine's inshore lifeboat.
On Thursday 5th July members of the RNLI Jersey Lifeboat Guild held a fundraising lunch at St Brelade’s Bay Hotel to support the lifesaving work of the RNLI.
However, just as lunch service was about to start, Deputy Launching Authority Chris McFadyen, who was attending the lunch, received a call from Coastguard asking to launch the St Catherine Lifeboat for a RIB lost in fog off the northeast of the Island. That launch request was approved and the crew pagers were activated, including that of one of the presenters, St Catherine Helm Andrew Eeles, who was due to talk about the challenges of volunteering for the RNLI.
Fortunately, Andrew had arranged cover and so the presentation was able to carry on. After food had been served, Andrew was able to provide an update on the search and rescue operation, reassuring the audience that the lost boat had been found and was being escorted back to Bonne Nuit. He then went on to give an inspirational presentation on his 25 years volunteering for the RNLI.
He was followed by Rob Stuteley, Jersey Lifeguard Supervisor and Nathan Elms, Lifeguard Supervisor, who gave an overview of the RNLI Lifeguard Service in Jersey since its inception in 2011 including a video showing training of lifeguards.
Mrs Josephine Spary, Chairman of the RNLI Jersey Lifeboat Guild, said “It was certainly an exciting lunch and the rescue by St Catherine inshore lifeboat, Eric W Wilson, brought into focus why we were all there. We would like to thank all of our guests for joining us at this event.”
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, in a normal year, 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.