Entire Jersey lifeboat crew resigns over skipper sacking

The entire crew of a lifeboat station has resigned in protest at the dismissal of their coxswain.

The 25-strong team in St Helier, Jersey, walked out after the departure of Andy Hibbs, who claimed he was "bullied" by RNLI managers.

The situation has put the station out of service, forcing Jersey Coastguard and RNLI crews in Guernsey to provide cover in case of emergencies.

Mr Hibbs, 50, was reported to have been disciplined after allegedly launching a lifeboat without the RNLI's permission to reach a boat that had broken down.

In a statement, the RNLI said it was an "incredibly complex situation" and its decision to stand down Mr Hibbs "has not been made lightly".

It said: "We have worked closely with the volunteer for some time but have been unable to resolve a serious breakdown in the relationship between the individual and the charity.

"There have also been serious breaches of the RNLI's Volunteer Code of Conduct.

"Unfortunately this impacted on the RNLI's ability to effectively deliver a safe and effective rescue service from St Helier."

The RNLI added that it was looking to put the St Helier lifeboat "back on service in the next couple of days".

It said: "Out of respect to all those involved in this confidential process we cannot go into more detail."

Mr Hibbs, a fisherman, said he was "humbled" by the support of his crew.

"I was sacked, pretty much," he told the BBC.

"The whole thing was just a joke. I was being bullied by RNLI senior management and I refused to accept it."

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