At 17:32 on Monday 19th July 2021, Guernsey Coastguard was alerted to 2 kayakers in difficulty 500 metres off of Albecq. Police Officers attended the scene and reported 2 kayakers out of their kayaks and clearly in difficulty.
St Peter Port Inshore Lifeboat “Elizabeth and Margaret Milligan” and All-Weather Lifeboat “Spirit of Guernsey” were paged and launched on service at 17:37 and 17:49 respectively.
In the meantime, Police Officers managed to get a throw line to the kayakers as they drifted closer to shore at Fort Hommet and pull them to safety. Both kayakers were then placed in the care of St John Paramedics.
The Lifeboats were both back on their moorings by 18:15.
At 7:52 am on Tuesday 13th July 2021, Guernsey Coastguard was alerted to 2 swimmers struggling in the tide 100 metres east of Bordeaux Harbour. A Police Officer attended the scene and reported 2 swimmers clinging to a buoy waving to attract attention.
St Peter Port Inshore Lifeboat “Elizabeth and Margaret Milligan” was paged and launched on service at 8:10 am. Several vessels responded to a MAYDAY RELAY broadcast by Guernsey Coastguard.
Deputy Cox Danny Blake was nearby but knew that because of the traffic, there was no point in trying to get to the harbour in time as Second Cox Jason Norman would arrive at the lifeboat station before him. He saw the Police stood on the shore and asked what the problem was. He borrowed a dinghy and rowed out to the swimmers who were both exhausted, clinging to the outermost buoy. They held on to the stern of the dinghy and he brought them most of the way back to shore when a powered boat came to assist.
The Inshore Lifeboat arrived at Bordeaux at 8:19 am and the casualties were transferred across from the motor cruiser before being landed ashore at Bordeaux Harbour where they were checked over by paramedics. The Inshore Lifeboat arrived back on station in St Peter Port at 8:30 am.
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.’
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.
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.
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.
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.