Jersey lifeboat could be afloat in a few weeks

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In June, the organisation picked up the Sir Max Aitken III – a former Isle of Wight RNLI Tyne-Class vessel – from a boatyard in Norfolk and brought it to Jersey, where it was hoisted to its current home at La Collette.

As the vessel had not been in service for a number of years, members of the JLA have been working on it ever since to get it back into good condition.

Ben Shenton, chairman of the JLA, said that work was progressing well.

‘We are about to put the shafts and propellers back on and we are hoping to get the boat back in the water within the next couple of weeks,’ he said.

‘The JLA logos and stripes are now on the side of the boat and the guys have been spending a lot of their weekends and spare time down there working on it.

‘It is coming on fairly quickly but perhaps not as quick as we would like.’

However, Mr Shenton added that there was still much work and fundraising to be done before the boat would be ready to respond to emergencies.

‘Once it is in the water we have got to work with the coastguard to make sure the boat is a recognised search-and-rescue asset.

‘That involves a lot of dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s and that will take quite a bit of time, probably months,’ he said.

‘There is still a lot of equipment to buy and what we thought we might do is list the equipment we need online along with its cost, and people can buy the individual parts that we need.

‘I do not know exactly, but overall the equipment will probably cost around £25,000.’

Mr Shenton added that it was important to ensure that it was important the lifeboat was brought up to standard properly before it was brought into service.

‘There are other considerable costs too – we need to make sure that we have all the right insurance in place and make sure the boat itself is up to the right standard,’ he said. ‘We want to go out and save lives and if the boat is not done properly, then we could actually be putting lives at risk, so that is not what we want to do. We had some generous donations in October and have a dinner coming up on 16 September at St Brelade’s Bay Hotel which should be quite well attended. We also have other fundraising initiatives planned.’

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