Protest held over sacking of RNLI lifeboat coxswain Andy Hibbs

Image caption The protest was held outside St Helier Lifeboat Station

Hundreds of people have gathered in protest at the St Helier lifeboat station over the sacking of Jersey's volunteer RNLI lifeboat coxswain.

The charity said the decision to remove Andy Hibbs was made due to a "serious risk to its ability to run a safe and effective lifesaving service".

Mr Hibbs denies the RNLI's claim he broke the volunteers' code of conduct.

The protest was organised by one of the 25 volunteer crew who all stood down in a show of support for their coxswain.

"It's really important to me that this lifeboat goes back to sea for the safety of all the people in the community," organiser Paul Batrick said.

Image caption St Helier's lifeboats have been out of service since Thursday

An RNLI spokesperson said the sacking had been made due to a "serious breakdown in communication" and the charity understood it was causing "a huge amount of concern".

"We're doing all we can and are appealing to the crew at St Helier who have chosen to step down to help us find a resolution as quickly as possible," the spokesperson added.

"We only take decisions to stand down volunteers where we feel there is a serious risk to our ability to run a safe and effective lifesaving service."

Jersey is currently receiving lifeboat cover from the other Channel Islands stations - St Catherine's, St Peter Port and Alderney.

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