Fears that RNLI lookout post will not be ready for start of summer season

2016 Lifeguards Will Glenn and Jake Elms RNLI Lifeguards El Tico Base known as 'Ouen's Base' for comms between the service and Jersey Coastguard Picture: DAVID FERGUSON. (37633975)

THE RNLI is seeking to reconstruct its base overlooking St Ouen’s Bay after the building suffered severe storm damage.

The lookout post on the first floor of the lifeguard station at Le Port was blown away when Storm Ciarán battered the Island in early November.

A surfing body has expressed fear that the facility would not be replaced in time for the 2024 summer season. However, the lodging of a planning application this week has signalled that attempts to restore the lifeguard station are under way.

Architect Andrew Harvey, who has submitted the application on the RNLI’s behalf, stated in a supporting letter that the intention was that the new structure would be as close to the original as possible, using similar materials.

“There will be no fundamental change of use of the building as a result of this application,” he said.

Current State of the base, known as ‘Ouen’s Base. Picture: DAVID FERGUSON. (37633982)

Concern was expressed by the Channel Island Surfing Federation last month about the slow pace of moves to put right the damage. Federation president Dave Ferguson said: “The 2024 season is really only around the corner.

“Known as ‘Ouen’s Base’ within the service, the lifeguard station not only communicates with all other assets on the beach including Le Braye Base and Splash Base, but all other emergency services – in particular Jersey Coastguard – once a major incident has been declared.

“Operationally it is the ‘eyes’ to the beach giving an excellent overview of the area.” Mr Ferguson said that although the recent damage was storm-related, the structure had been neglected for many years.

He concluded: “Beach safety is paramount, especially in main season, from the end of May to October. Something has to be done soon.” The RNLI has been approached for comment.

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