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Jersey Lifeboat Association operations "frozen" pending investigation

Jersey Lifeboat Association operations

Wednesday 15 December 2021

Jersey Lifeboat Association operations "frozen" pending investigation

Wednesday 15 December 2021


The Jersey Lifeboat Association’s licence to operate has been suspended pending an investigation into an incident last month, when its all-weather boat hit rocks on its way to help a stranded yacht.

Ports of Jersey said today that there would be a "temporary freeze" in the independent service's operations.

In a statement released today, Ports said: “Following an incident on 10 November 2021 involving the Sir Max Aitken III, one of Jersey Lifeboat Association’s search and rescue vessels, Ports of Jersey, in their role as Harbour Authority, and the Jersey Lifeboat Association are working together to understand what happened and what lessons can be learnt.

“As recommended in the provisional findings of an independent investigation into the incident, Jersey Coastguard, in their capacity as the co-ordinator of search and rescue at sea, will perform a review of Jersey Lifeboat Association’s operational policies and procedures.

“They will examine whether the procedures and policies remain appropriate and how they will be followed in practice in future.

“They will also provide any other advice, guidance and support as necessary. 

“While the review is undertaken, there will be a temporary freeze in Jersey Lifeboat Association’s operations.”

Video: The Max Aitken III's hull was damaged when it struck rocks while on duty last month.

The Ports’ statement added: “This downtime will also allow the Jersey Lifeboat Association’s Council to take a number of steps to review their legal and regulatory obligations and maintain their duty of care to the volunteer crew and those who rely on Jersey’s search and rescue community to help ensure safety at sea.

“Once the Coastguard’s review is complete, they will create a roadmap and action plan. The Jersey Lifeboat Association’s normal operations can be restored once the actions are completed.

“Once the investigation and review are concluded, a full report will be submitted to the Minister for Economic Development.

“We recognise the important part the Jersey Lifeboat Association play in Jersey’s search and rescue capability and look forward to them returning to service in island waters.”

Sir Max Aitken III was on its way to assist a French yacht, which reported that it was stuck on fishing gear at around 21:30, when the former RNLI lifeboat struck rocks around Noirmont.

It then had to return to port in St. Helier, and the RNLI's All-weather lifeboat, the George Sullivan, was called at 22:12 to assist the stranded French boat. 

The yacht was freed from the fishing gear and then towed into St. Helier.

READ MORE...

Independent investigation after JLA lifeboat hits rocks

WATCH: JLA lifeboat damage to be assessed

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