St Peter Port RNLI volunteers are awarded the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service

The volunteers at St Peter Port RNLI have been chosen to receive The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service (QAVS). The prestigious award is the highest award given to local volunteer groups across the UK and recognises ‘outstanding groups of volunteers whose level of initiative and impact are truly exceptional.’ 

photo by Tony Rive 2021

Established in 2002 as part of the UK honours system to recognise the work of grassroots organisations at a local level, the award is to recognise the work of the whole station from the committee members and fundraisers to the crew on the boat.

St Peter Port Lifeboat Station is one of 241 charities, social enterprises and voluntary groups to receive the prestigious award this year, showing that the voluntary sector is thriving and full of innovative ideas to make life better for those around them.

Jim Le Pelley, Chairman of the Lifeboat Management Group at St Peter Port said,
“This is a great honour for the St Peter Port Lifeboat Station which recognises that the whole of the operation of the station is run by volunteers.  All the crew of the lifeboat have shown exceptional extra dedication throughout the period of the pandemic.  But the award recognises not just their service but that of all the volunteers of the station including committee members, fundraisers and supporters, past and present, who have all contributed to saving lives at sea.”

Chris Harvey, Lifeboats Operations Manager at St Peter Port said, 
‘We are honoured and delighted to receive The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service which recognises the hard work and dedication of everyone involved in the station here at St Peter Port. It’s been a busy two years for the station. Alongside our All Weather Lifeboat, we are currently trialling the use of an Inshore Lifeboat for incidents closer to the cliffs and shore. 

This has meant the crew completing a significant amount of additional training to operate the new lifeboat, in a year where we experienced the highest ever number of call outs. The station has shown an exceptional response to the situation and two of our crew Jason Norman and Danny Blake undertook additional training to qualify as trainer-assessors themselves to speed up the process of getting the lifeboat on station.’  

Established in 1803, St Peter Port lifeboat station has responded to over 1,500 shouts. As well as serving the Guernsey community, St Peter Port lifeboat station assists in providing a medivac service for the smaller islands of Herm and Sark. Each crew member will also receive a special badge in recognition of the way they dealt with the challenges resulting from the pandemic in ensuring that the lifeboats remained in service during lockdown and that covid patients could be safely transported. 

St Peter Port Lifeboat Launched to Assist Broken Down Vessel

At 23:29 on Saturday 29th May 2021, Guernsey VTS received a radio call from the small motor vessel ‘Taz’ which was seeking assistance. The vessel had 4 people onboard and had suffered mechanical failure approximately 1 nautical mile east of St Peter Port Harbour.

Guernsey VTS passed co-ordination of the incident to Guernsey Coastguard who attempted to gain assistance from any vessels in the area but unfortunately no help was available.

St Peter Port Lifeboat “Spirit of Guernsey” was launched and proceeded to the assistance of ‘Taz’ at 23:55. Once located, a tow was quickly established and ‘Taz’ was towed safely back to St Peter Port Harbour, arriving at 00:15 on 30th May, where the tow was handed over to Guernsey Ports marina staff.

‘Taz’ was safely secured to a pontoon by 00:35 and the incident was closed shortly afterwards.

St Peter Port Lifeboat Launched to Assist Two Broken Down Vessels

At 8:27am on Thursday 27th May, Guernsey Coastguard received a radio call from a 10-metre fishing vessel seeking assistance. The vessel had 2 people on board and had broken down 30 miles northwest of Guernsey in the approaches to the Casquets Traffic Separation Scheme. This position placed the casualty on the border between the UK and French Search and Rescue Regions. After liaising with the UK and French Coastguards, coordination was retained by Guernsey Coastguard. Attempts were made to gain assistance from vessels in the area, but no help was forthcoming.

St Peter Port Lifeboat the “Spirit of Guernsey” launched at 9:20am and proceeded to the scene. Once the vessel was located, a tow line was connected and the vessel was towed safely back to St Peter Port, arriving shortly before 2:00pm.

Minutes later, Guernsey Coastguard received a second call from a 4-metre motorboat that had broken down 5 miles southeast of St Martin’s Point. Spirit of Guernsey was tasked to the incident arriving on scene at 2:25 pm. A tow was established with the vessel and her crew safely brought back to St Peter Port.

photo by Dylan Ray
AIS track of the 2 shouts, courtesy of Digimap

Person Rescued after Cliff Fall

At 15:52 on 16 March 2021, a member of the public called the Joint
Emergency Services Control Centre (JESCC) to report that their friend had
fallen down the cliffs at Icart Point whilst walking in the area.

At 16:20 the St Peter Port relief all weather Lifeboat ‘Daniel L Gibson’ and the
inshore Lifeboat ‘Elizabeth & Margaret Milligan’ were launched to proceed to
the scene of the incident to assess the casualties’ condition and to ascertain if
a recovery by sea could be carried out.

Police, Ambulance, Fire Service Cliff Rescue and Coastguard officers attended
at Icart Point to prepare for a possible rope rescue if required however, this
was not needed as the crew of the inshore Lifeboat had managed to get to the
casualty and recover him safely to the Lifeboat for onward transport back to St
Peter Port harbour and the awaiting ambulance service there.

Both Lifeboats returned to station by 17:56 and the incident was closed at
18:00.

photo by Dylan Ray
photo by Dylan Ray

Lifeboat launched to assist grounded fishing vessel

At 0135 this morning (Tuesday 23rd February 2021) Guernsey Coastguard received a MAYDAY call from a fishing vessel that had run aground on rocks around Tautenay Beacon.

The St Peter Port All Weather Lifeboat, Spirit of Guernsey, was launched to assist.

The fishing vessel re-floated without assistance and, on sounding around the vessel, the vessel’s Skipper confirmed that there was no ingress of water or damage to propulsion and steering.

The fishing vessel returned to St Peter Port under its own power with the Lifeboat escorting her as a precaution.

At 0245 both vessels safely arrived in St Peter Port.

AIS tracking courtesy of Digimap

Swimmer in Difficulty – Havelet Bay

At 13:31 on Friday 19 February 2021, the Joint Emergency Services Control Centre (JESCC), received a telephone call from a member of the public stating that a man had jumped from the Castle Emplacement sea wall into Havelet Bay and was struggling in the rough conditions.

Police and Coastguard officers were dispatched to the scene immediately and both the St Peter Port all weather lifeboat (ALB) and inshore lifeboat (ILB) were paged to launch.

On hearing Guernsey Coastguard’s ‘MAYDAY RELAY’ message the Polar Research ship RRS Sir David Attenborough, which at the time was south of St Martins point, offered the assistance of one of its Fast Rescue Craft (FRC) however, Police officers had already been able to recover the man from the water using a Life-Ring mounted on the harbour wall nearby.

Both lifeboats were stood down from Search & Rescue duties at 13.38 however, the inshore lifeboat was asked to retrieve a further Life-Ring that had been thrown into the water by the casualty’s friend.

The incident was closed at 14:21

Mike Harris AssocRINA, AffiIIMS.