Minister Won’t Be At Lifeboat Meetings

27th November 2017
The minister representing the States on the RNLI dispute won’t be attending any public meetings held by the former St Helier Crew.
Andy Hibbs and his team want to go independent, and will share their plans with islanders from tomorrow.
The Jersey Independent Lifeboat Service Committee has been set up – chaired by former former politician Phil Rondel and ex-lifeboatman Paul Battrick.
It has organised a series of meetings, the first of which is at the Town Hall from 7pm on Tuesday, to garner support and begin fundraising for a ‘Jersey Lifeboats’ service.
A Facebook page has drawn 2,000 followers in its first two days.
A bitter row between the former St Helier crew and the RNLI over the treatment of former coxswain Andy Hibbs culminated in the closure of the lifeboat station and the removal of the George Sullivan all-weather boat to Poole.
The RNLI says it intends to have new volunteers and firefighters manning the station with the inshore rescue boat again by mid-December.
Training for Jersey Fire and Rescue staff began at the weekend.


A Facebook page called ‘We support the RNLI’ has been set up and has around 250 followers.
Deputy Steve Luce welcomed the news, but has insisted to Channel 103 that he is not favouring the RNLI over the ex St Helier crew.
He says his main priority is to get boats back on the Albert Quay as soon as possible;
” I am not backing one horse, against another. What I am doing is talking to both sides. I have with the Institution. I have met with the ex crew. In both cases I have said if there’s any support I can give you I will do that because all I want is to have lifeboats back in St Helier just as quickly as I can.”
“I will be supporting from the background.”
The issue is expected to be discussed at this week’s States sitting, which begins this afternoon.
Vicky Boarder from The Fresh Fish Company has written an open letter to States Members urging them to attend the JILSC public meetings and “hear for yourself the truth about the RNLI and our crew and why now we must realise an independent lifeboat for our Island.”

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