A busy week continues for RNLI St Helier lifeboats

Lifeboats News Release

St Helier lifeboats have been launched five times in only three days.

St Helier inshore lifeboat, the David Page, attends a French sailing boat on 7 April 2018

RNLI/Chris McFadyen

St Helier inshore lifeboat, the David Page, attends a French sailing boat on 7 April 2018

On Thursday afternoon, the George Sullivan, St Helier's all-weather lifeboat (ALB), was launched to a fishing vessel on fire in the Small Roads just outside St Helier harbour. This was immediately followed by a request to launch the inshore lifeboat (ILB), the David Page, to assist four people stranded on Elizabeth Castle. Both shouts occurred during the visit to Jersey of RNLI Chief Executive, Paul Boissier.

On Saturday Jersey Coastguard requested the assistance of the St Helier Lifeboats on three separate occasions. At 10.30am on Saturday, the George Sullivan ALB was carrying out crew assessments when it was diverted to a nine metre power boat with four people on board, two of whom were children. The vessel was off St Brelade’s Bay and reported a possible fuel problem together with a strong smell of petrol. It was safely escorted back to St Helier.

Following this, at 4.20pm on Saturday afternoon, Jersey Coastguard requested the launch of the St Helier inshore lifeboat to assist a nine metre sailing vessel with four people on board which had broken down four miles south east of St Helier. The French sailing boat had suffered mechanical problems and, with light winds and strong tides, was having difficulty making way. The vessel was quickly located by the ILB and was towed back to St Helier, arriving close to 6pm. It was manoeuvred by the David Page onto a visitor berth in the harbour.

After an already busy day, at 11.50pm, Jersey Coast Guard requested the launch of the George Sullivan ALB from St Helier to assist a 15 metre, 15 ton, Swiss registered sailing vessel on passage from St Helier to Holland. The vessel, with three people on board, had become entangled with a fishing buoy 2.5 miles north of Bouley Bay. The ALB assisted the sailing boat by releasing it from the buoy but unfortunately, the vessel was not able to proceed and the George Sullivan established a tow and proceeded back to St Helier. It arrived back at the harbour some 5 hours after the original request to launch, and was placed on a berth next to the French boat which had been recovered earlier.

This final shout made a total of five service calls in only three days.

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The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates over 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.

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