Jersey

'Don't donate to RNLI' say Jersey campaigners

St Helier's Tamar-class lifeboat
Image caption Jersey is currently receiving lifeboat cover from the other Channel Islands stations - St Catherine's in Jersey, St Peter Port in Guernsey and Alderney

Campaigners have urged people "not to donate" to the RNLI at the Jersey Boat Show this weekend in a dispute over the sacking of the lifeboat's coxswain.

The 25-strong lifeboat crew walked out in protest three weeks ago after coxswain Andy Hibbs was dismissed.

The Jersey Action Group (JAG) said it was supporting the St Helier crew and had launched a campaign to persuade people not to donate to the RNLI.

The RNLI said it was "disappointed" by the move.

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The Fresh Fish Company said it had put away RNLI collection tins until Mr Hibbs was reinstated.

An RNLI spokesman said the campaigners' action was "misdirected" because any fall in donations would also affect St Catherine's Lifeboat in Jersey as well as beach lifeguards.

It said: "We are of course disappointed to hear about any members of the public who feel they would like to withdraw their much appreciated support."

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

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

Image caption A protest was held outside St Helier Lifeboat Station

Mr Hibbs denies the RNLI's claim he broke the volunteers' code of conduct and has appealed against his dismissal.

John Baker, vice chair of JAG campaigners said the group was not forcing people to boycott the RNLI but it wanted Mr Hibbs to be reinstated.

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