RNLI Coxswain Awaits Final Appeal Decision

19th May 2017
Credit: St Helier Lifeboat Crew Facebook

Credit: St Helier Lifeboat Crew Facebook

The result of sacked St Helier Lifeboat Coxswain Andy Hibbs’ appeal is expected “in a couple of weeks’ time”.

All 25 members of the vessel’s crew walked out in protest last month, after Mr Hibbs was dismissed for an alleged breach of the RNLI’s volunteer code of conduct.

They say they won’t return unless their Coxswain is reinstated.

The RNLI later accepted Mr Hibbs’ appeal against his dismissal.

On Thursday, he met with RNLI officials who will make a final decision about his future.

It’s understood there are two possible outcomes:

  1. Mr Hibbs is reinstated and he and the crew return to their posts
  2. Mr Hibbs’ dismissal is upheld. It will then be up to individual crew members to decide whether or not to return to duty

Mike Jackson, who accompanied Mr Hibbs to the meeting, says his impression of the process was that it was “extremely fair” with “no question of any influence from any quarter”.

He adds he is confident that the appeal was “the correct route”, and says that the weight of public support for the lifeboat men helped to ensure the Coxswain’s appeal was heard.

“I think the RNLI are extremely conscious of the public feeling and the effect on our community in Jersey is significant,” he says.

“That certainly hasn’t fallen on deaf ears, but I would like to think that they are approaching the whole matter in a sensible, balanced way and will come out with a sensible and balanced result, so we do await that with eagerness.”

Mr Jackson says the situation has been “very upsetting” for the crew, and concludes: “As soon as they can get back on the lifeboat, the happier they will be.”

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