St Helier Lifeboat Station update: station will close for immediate future

As you know from the update on Monday, St Helier crew met with the RNLI earlier this week and informed the RNLI of their intention to become an independent station.
St Helier All-weather Lifeboat

Photo: Nigel Millard

After this meeting the RNLI, including the Community Lifesaving Director, the Chief Executive and RNLI trustees, took some time to think about the situation and can now confirm that the station will be closed for the immediate future. Here is the statement from Community Lifesaving and Fundraising Director, Leesa Harwood:

‘Today is a sad day. As you know the St Helier crew met with the RNLI earlier this week to say they felt that the relationship with the RNLI is broken and that they want to establish an independent station. I have taken some time to think and speak with the chief executive and the trustees of the RNLI and I can now confirm our next steps.

‘It’s with regret that we have made the difficult decision to close the St Helier Lifeboat Station for the immediate future. It is impossible to run a station when the relationship with the RNLI and crew has broken down to this extent.

‘The crew have made it quite clear that they want to leave the RNLI and set up an independent lifeboat station. In the interim period, while they pursue that aim, I do not believe that they can fully commit to the RNLI. I no longer have confidence that the station can be run without constant challenges and without constant threat of crew resignation.

‘The lifeboat station and shop in St Helier will be closed and secured. The crew have been stood down. The RNLI has notified the coastguard that there is no longer a declared RNLI search and rescue service at St Helier.

‘We would like to reassure the Jersey community that St Catherine’s RNLI Lifeboat Station remains open and we will be doing everything we can to restore an RNLI all-weather lifeboat service to the island as quickly as possible, working alongside the States of Jersey, the coastguard and the maritime community.

‘Our immediate focus will be on restoring an inshore lifeboat service in St Helier. Re-establishing all-weather lifeboat cover will take a few months and in the meantime the RNLI will transfer the Tamar class lifeboat to Poole, where it will be fully serviced and stay while we make plans for the future.

‘I would like to thank the St Helier crew for their service to the RNLI and recognise their time and commitment over the years. It has been very much appreciated.’

As you can imagine, this is a difficult time for your colleagues and all the volunteers in Jersey. We’re working hard to restore a lifesaving service in Jersey, but in the meantime if you have any questions, please contact your manager or your local Community Support Team.