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Jersey RNLI all-weather lifeboat 'George Sullivan' undergoes engine repairs

Lifeboats News Release

The RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat on Jersey, the Tamar class 'George Sullivan', is currently at the All Weather Lifeboat Centre at the charity’s headquarters in Poole where work is undergoing on the vessel’s port engine, which has been suffering a problem, believed to be related to the head gasket.

Although not affecting the vessel’s performance and vital work in saving lives at sea around the coast of the Channel Islands, where it has been involved in many rescues already this year, it was decided that this was the right time to get the repair work completed before its condition deteriorated.

As well as operating 238 lifeboat stations around the UK and Ireland, the RNLI also has a reserve fleet of all-weather lifeboats and inshore lifeboats, so another Tamar class vessel the Victor Freeman, was sent to St Helier to provide cover while the George Sullivan is under repair.

The Victor Freeman arrived at St Helier on 4 June and two hours later the George Sullivan left the island, arriving in Poole on 5 June.

‘The great strength of the RNLI is that we’ve got a national network, which is very well resourced, so if for any reason a lifeboat needs to be repaired we are able to bring in a similar vessel, meaning we are able to maintain our emergency cover, run by our local volunteers, 24/7,’ said Area Lifesaving Manager Liam Krige.

‘We also have the All-Weather Lifeboat Centre which is a world-class facility for not only building, but repairing and refitting lifeboats, so it’s the ideal place for getting the engine on the George Sullivan repaired as quickly as possible. If it turns out that a replacement engine is needed that can also be fitted there.’

‘We have a growing number of new local volunteers at the station, so having this work completed on the George Sullivan will also mean that we will be able to increase the number of training exercises we carry out in the waters around the island, including those undertaken alongside the RNLI’s inshore lifeboats at St Helier and St Catherine and our RNLI lifeguards who patrol six beaches around the island and make up a comprehensive lifesaving operation,’ he added.

Reports suggesting that the George Sullivan is undergoing repair work after running aground are completely unfounded. Any such incident would be required to be reported to the Marine Accident Investigation Branch and no such incident has been reported.

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Key facts about the RNLI

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution is the charity that saves lives at sea. Our volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service in the United Kingdom and Ireland from 238 lifeboat stations, including four along the River Thames and inland lifeboat stations at Loch Ness, Lough Derg, Enniskillen, Carrybridge and Lough Ree. Additionally the RNLI has more than 1,000 lifeguards on over 240 beaches around the UK and operates a specialist flood rescue team, which can respond anywhere across the UK and Ireland when inland flooding puts lives at risk.

The RNLI relies on public donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. As a charity it is separate from, but works alongside, government-controlled and funded coastguard services. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824 our lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved at least 140,000 lives. Volunteers make up 95% of the charity, including 4,600 volunteer lifeboat crew members and 3,000 volunteer shore crew. Additionally, tens of thousands of other dedicated volunteers raise funds and awareness, give safety advice, and help in our museums, shops and offices.

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The RNLI is a charity registered in England and Wales (209603) and Scotland (SC037736). Charity number 20003326 in the Republic of Ireland