RNLI: 12 Volunteer For Replacement Crew
23rd November 2017
The RNLI says 12 people have volunteered to join a new St Helier crew.
Bosses are back in the island to give an update on what they are doing to reopen the St Helier station and reinstate the lifeboat service.
It was shut last Friday following a long-running row between the crew and the charity.
Training will start this weekend – with the aim of having the inshore lifeboat back in service by mid-December, and the all-weather George Sullivan returned by the end of the year.
Head of Lifesaving Will Stephens issued the following statement:
“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 program 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.”
Meanwhile, a meeting has been organised at the Town Hall next Tuesday evening where the former crew will present their ideas for an independent lifeboat service.
A poster on social media by the ‘Jersey Independent Lifeboat Service Committee’ invites islanders to support a “local Independent Lifeboat service run by locals and using an experienced local crew”.