Aircraft calls in potential life raft at sea

Lifeboats News Release

Last night the St Helier inshore lifeboat was paged at 5.46pm after reports from an aircraft of what looked like a life raft in the water around a mile north-west of Jersey.

St Helier inshore lifeboat preparing to launch

RNLI/Julie Rainey

St Helier inshore lifeboat preparing to launch

The boat launched at 5:58pm on 7 March with a collaborative crew of three RNLI volunteers and a Jersey firefighter. While the crew was heading for the last known position of the suspected raft, a passing military boat was able to confirm that what the aircraft had seen was the brightly-coloured roof of a fishing boat’s wheelhouse. The crew returned to St Helier and the boat was back at the station and ready for service once more by 6.28pm.

Nigel Sweeney, RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager for Jersey, said, 'This was a call with good intent and even though no lives were at risk on this occasion, we’d always rather be safe than sorry. Although the weather has improved this week, sea temperatures around the island are still very low. I’m pleased the crew made such good time on the shout and the boat was back, ready to save lives at sea once again, in under an hour.'

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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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