TRIALS arranged for the first week of May could pave the way for Jersey’s independent lifeboat to resume operations, the Economic Development Minister has said.
During questions in the States Assembly yesterday, Deputy Kirsten Morel was asked when the Jersey Lifeboat Association’s vessel, Sir Max Aitken III, would be back in the water.
Deputy Morel told the questioner, Deputy Andy Howell, that he had recently met the JLA and Ports of Jersey to discuss the resumption of operations, which were suspended in November 2021 after the lifeboat hit rocks near Noirmont Point while the crew was en route to help a French yacht.
He said: ‘I made it clear that the aim was to get the JLA back in the water, and it was left that the Ports of Jersey would contact the Maritime and Coastguard Agency in the UK regarding the agency visiting Jersey to assess the Sir Max Aitken III.
‘This visit will take place on 2 May, although I am unable to say exactly how long the trial will take.’
Deputy Howell welcomed the news, saying that she was concerned that the current government had been in office for ten months and ‘nothing has happened’.
The Maritime and Coastguard Agency is responsible for implementing British and international maritime law and safety policy.
The Economic Development Minister was also asked about the delay to the construction of an extension to Oakfield Sport Centre caused by the liquidation of building firm Camerons.
Details about the delay were first given by Infrastructure Minister Tom Binet in answer to a written question earlier this week, and Deputy Morel admitted he had been perturbed to hear the news.
He said: ‘I was on the Planning Committee when [the Oakfield scheme] was passed and am concerned that it has taken this long.
‘The whole idea was that it was a relatively fast build – that’s why it was chosen – and I will be liaising with colleagues to understand where the blockages are.’