New RNLI inshore lifeboat declared on service at St Peter Port

Today (4 July 2019) at 9am, Guernsey welcomed a new RNLI inshore lifeboat to the harbour at St Peter Port.

The Elizabeth and Margaret Milligan B-class Atlantic lifeboat joins the all-weather boat in the harbour for a two-year trial period. The volunteer crew of thirteen (including four fully qualified helms) has been training on the boat for the last six months and took part in their final exercise last night before the boat was declared on service this morning.

With a large community of dedicated water users around the island and the summer season in full swing, the boat is likely to be tasked before too long.

Guernsey RNLI’s volunteer Lifeboat Operations Manager, Chris Harvey, said, “The crew have shown dedication and commitment in getting through their training so quickly and professionally. As volunteers, the demands on their time for them and their families is high, and even more so in the preparations for the new vessel. They are a credit to the station and I am grateful for their hard work.

Our Severn class all-weather boat, Spirit of Guernsey, is the largest boat in the RNLI fleet and is capable of operating in the worst conditions. However, having an Atlantic 85 as a fast response vessel with the ability to operate close inshore is a tremendous bonus. We look forward to the challenge of using the vessel to its best advantage during the two-year trial.”

He continued, “The weather has been fantastic for the past few days so as we head towards the weekend, we’d urge everyone on the island to take care in or by the water and to call 999 and ask for the Coastguard if they see anyone in trouble. Enjoy our wonderful beaches and coastline but always remember to respect the water.”

Guernsey’s Harbourmaster Captain David Barker said: “Guernsey Coastguard is delighted that the RNLI is providing a new Atlantic 85 inshore rescue vessel for use in Bailiwick waters. The new boat, named ‘Elizabeth and Margaret Milligan’, is designed for rapid response in coastal areas and can access shallower waters than our existing lifeboat. She carries an impressive array of equipment, including night vision aids, GPS and radar systems.

Over the last few months, RNLI volunteers have completed an intensive training programme in how to operate the new vessel, which will complement Guernsey’s existing Severn Class lifeboat, ‘Spirit of Guernsey’. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the RNLI and their volunteer crews for their vital service to our islands and those who use our waters.”

3 Calls in one day for the St Peter Port Lifeboat

AIS track from Digimap

At 15:47 on Saturday 29th June 2019, Guernsey Coastguard received a VHF radio call from the local dive vessel Delphys declaring that they had two divers missing in a position approximately 9 cables west of Gross Rock to the north end of Cobo bay on the west coast of Guernsey. Due to the serious nature of the incident, a Mayday relay message was broadcast by Guernsey Coastguard and the St Peter Port Lifeboat ‘Spirit of Guernsey’ was launched to assist with the search along with the local charter vessel Access Challenger.

As the Channel Islands Airsearch aircraft is currently off service a request for a UK Coastguard helicopter was also made and Rescue 175 was tasked by the U.K’s Aeronautical, Rescue, Coordination, Center (ARCC), to assist the local responders.

At 16:23 the dive vessel Delphys called to say that they had found the missing divers safe and well on the surface and once their condition had been assessed by the Lifeboat crew all search assets were stood down and both Delphys and the Lifeboat returned to St Peter Port arriving back into the Harbour at about 17:00.

At 17:45 the St Peter Port Lifeboat was launched for a second time to standby the 32m sailing vessel Liara which was in the Little Russel. The vessel had suffered a control failure of its controllable pitch propeller and was unable to proceed un-assisted into St Peter Port.

The Lifeboat was quickly on scene along with the St Peter Port Pilot vessel ‘Golden Spur’ who had kindly offered their assistance.

It was as the Lifeboat was stood-by Liara that a third call came in to Guernsey Coastguard from the motor vessel Aganda which reported that they had left Dielette on the Normandy coast of France at about 16:00. They had become disorientated in fog and were unsure of their position and required assistance.

After some time it was ascertained that the Aganda was approximately 5.9 nautical miles north of Platte Fougere lighthouse on the north-east coast of Guernsey and as the sailing vessel Liara was now being assisted into St Peter Port by the Pilot vessel, the St Peter Port Lifeboat was tasked for a third time in one day to go to the assistance of the motor vessel Aganda.

The Lifeboat escorted Aganda back towards Guernsey however a tow had to be established after a technical issue prevented Aganda from proceeding on her own power.

Both vessels arrived back into St Peter Port Harbour at 20:10 and the Lifeboat was back on station at 20:23.

Lifeboat Call-Out to persons stuck on Cliff in Herm

At 23:48 on Saturday 22nd June 2019, a 999 call was received by the Joint Emergency Services Control Centre (JESCC), from a male who was stuck on the cliffs to the south of Rosaire steps on the west coast of Herm, with him was his teenage daughter.

The Herm Constable was contacted and went straight to the scene where he assessed the situation and confirmed that he had no means on the island to reach the persons in distress.

The St Peter Port Lifeboat crew were paged at 00:30 and the Lifeboat, ‘Spirit of Guernsey’ left St Peter Port harbour at 00:45.

At arrival on scene, the decision was taken to evacuate the casualties from the cliffs using the Lifeboats ‘daughter’ craft (Y-Boat), this operation was carried out without incident.

The Lifeboat crew assessed the condition of the two persons recovered and other than feeling a little cold both had no serious injuries and were transferred back to their yacht which was anchored off of Rosaire steps.

The ‘Spirit of Guernsey’ returned to St Peter Port and was back on station at 01:29.

St Peter Port Lifeboat Launched to Assist Sailing Vessel “ADDIKO”

At 15:17 on Saturday 15th June 2019, Guernsey Coastguard received a telephone call from Jersey Coastguard who had been contacted by the sailing vessel “Addiko” asking for assistance.

The vessel with 2 persons onboard, had suffered engine failure and was becalmed 13 nautical miles south west of St Martins point on the south coast of Guernsey and was unable to proceed to St Peter Port.  

An all ships call was put out to any vessel in the area that could assist “Addiko” however there was no response and therefore the St Peter Port Lifeboat the “Spirit of Guernsey” was launched at 15:56 and proceeded to the scene.  Once “Addiko” was located, a tow was established and the vessel was towed safely back to St Peter Port, arriving shortly after 18:40. 

The Lifeboat was back on station at 18:53

Pic by Tony Rive 15-06-19 Two Guernsey Harbour’s Marina Attendant’s attend to the UK Yacht Addiko whith the Lifeboat Spirit of Guernsey had just towed into St Peter Port Harbour from approximately 13 miles south of St Martin’s Point.
Spirit of Guernsey passing St Martin’s Point with yacht Addiko in Tow 15-06-19 Pic by Tony Rive

St Peter Port Lifeboat Launched to Assist Sailing Vessel “Pickle”

At 15:40 on Thursday 6th June 2019, Guernsey Coastguard received a radio call from sailing vessel “Pickle” asking for assistance. The vessel had 2 persons onboard and had picked up a rope around her propeller approximately four nautical miles due north of the Platte Fougere lighthouse on the north east coast of Guernsey and was unable to proceed to St Peter Port.  

An all ships call was put out to any vessel in the area that could assist “Pickle” however there was no response and therefore the St Peter Port Lifeboat the “Spirit of Guernsey” was launched at 16:11 and proceeded to the scene.  Once “Pickle” was located, a tow was established and the vessel was towed safely back to St Peter Port, arriving shortly after 17:40. 

The Lifeboat was back on station at 17:58

Pic by Tony Rive 06-06-19 The St Peter Port Lifeboat Spirit of Guernsey returning to harbour with the yacht “Pickles” in Tow.
Pic by Tony Rive 06-06-19 Yacht Pickles arriving in St Peter Port in Tow by the Lifeboat Spirit of Guernsey after fouling its propellor approximately 4 miles North of La Platte Fougere Lighthouse, north of Guernsey.

Lifeboat Call-Out to a swamped vessel north of Les Hanois Lighthouse

At 08:37 local time on Monday 3rd June 2019, a distress message was received by Guernsey Coastguard from the 17 foot vessel ‘Dingbat’ with two persons on board. The vessel had broken down and become swamped one nautical mile North of Les Hanois Lighthouse on the South West coast of Guernsey.

The St Peter Port lifeboat ‘Spirit of Guernsey’ was launched immediately along with the Channel Islands ‘Air Search’ aircraft ‘Air Search 1’.

At 09:14 both the ‘Spirit of Guernsey’ and ‘Air Search 1’ arrived at the location of the vessel which had by this time deployed its liferaft in preparation for abandoning the craft. Shortly afterwards the two persons on board ‘Dingbat’ were transferred to the lifeboat and a tow was established.

‘Air Search 1’ stood down at 09:19, and the ‘Spirit of Guernsey’ arrived back at St Peter Port harbour at 10:29 and was back on station at 10:35.

Pic by Tony Rive 03-06-19 Lifeboat Spirit of Guernsey towing the 17ft Open boat Dingbat back to St Peter Port after if broke down and got Swamped approximately 1 mile North of Les Hanios Lighthouse West of Lihou Island. The Two Crew were taken aboard the Lifeboat before their Liferaft was tied to their Boat and then towed back to St Peter Port Harbour.
Pic by Tony Rive 03-06-19 A Guernsey Harbour Marina Attendant aboard the 17ft Open boat Dingbat to disconnect the Lifeboat Spirit of Guernsey’s Tow rope before taking the boat into St Peter Port Harbour whilst the Lifeboat took the Two Crewman to a waiting Ambulance to be checked out.
Pic by Tony Rive 03-06-19 Lifeboat Spirit of Guernsey arriving alongside the Inter Island Quay at St Peter Port meeting an Ambulance after rescueing two Fisherman from their Open Boat approximately 2 miles West of Lihou Island this morning after it broke down and started being swamped. Once a Tow Rope was attached, the crewman’s 17ft boat Dingbat was towed back to Port.