States of Jersey
Fire and Rescue Service
Inshore Rescue Boats
The setting up of an inshore rescue service resulted from a rescue which took place on September 3 1958. Two men had had become marooned on a rock at Greve d’Azette, and although police attempted to reach the men with a lifeline, the line was too short. With no suitable boat available, the lifeboat ELIZABETH RIPPON was launched and using her boarding boat which she had towed from St. Helier, the two men were rescued.
In the operation the lifeboat had struck a rock, but no damage was done. The local lifeboat committee saw that the lifeboat was not the ideal vessel for close inshore work and wrote to the States of Jersey regarding them purchasing a rubber dinghy to be available from the shore.
This the States agreed, and with its twenty-
Entering service in May 1960 the Zodiac was kept on a trailer at the Fire Station, and being towed by a Land Rover, was able to provide a quick response to any part of the island.
During its first year in service it responded to 35 call outs, and such was its success that the Chief Officer requested a second craft. This was purchased in late 1961, being a Cheetah catamaran powered by two Evinrude outboard engines, and was acquired with the idea of transporting liferafts in the event of having to attend a ditched aircraft.
In 1966 the Zodiac was replaced by a RFD PB16, and two years later, the Cheetah having been found heavier, and more difficult to launch, than the inflatable craft was replaced by a second RFD PB16.
In 1971 the power units were replaced by electric start Mercury 50 hp units, and both boats remained in service until 1993, when they were replaced by Evans Avon 16 craft built to R.N.L.I. specification, being fitted with Mariner 40 hp units. In 1996 the power units were replaced with Tohatsu 50 hp outboards.
The two current orange craft arrived in 2000 and 2001.
At the present time, in addition to its traditional land-
2 Inshore Rescue Boats.
2 10 person Liferafts.
A Rope Rescue Team (for cliff rescues also tall crane demands).
A Ship Firefighting Team.
A Incident Command Vehicle.
The early part of this history is culled from Ian Moignard’s History of Jersey Lifeboats, while the later information was provided by Richard Liron, Station Commander, Jersey Fire & Rescue Service.
Picture : JF&RS 1aw 11.9k
First Zodiac, which entered service May 1960.
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Cheetah entered service October 1961, powered by twin Evinrude engines.
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RL2 (Rescue Launch 2) on the slip at West Park. The RFD PB16 having replaced the Zodiac in 1966.
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Launching at Grève De Lecq 1982
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The first Evans Avon 16 arrived 1993 and were initially powered by a Mariner 40 engine, but this was soon replaced by a Tohatsu 50 hp unit.
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IRB 1 with a Tohatsu 50 hp outboard.
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The first orange Evans Avon 16’, Fire ALPHA arrived in 2000, being joined by Fire BRAVO a year later.
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This picture of Fire BRAVO Maritime (normally referred as BRAVO) shows well the layout of the craft.
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A good view of the forward section, with the Garmin GPS above a maritime VHF set on the right, and the States Tetra set on the left. The white message board is below, flanked by two portable Tetra units.
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A combined cliff rescue training exercise with a R.A.F. Sea King helicopter and a IRB at Sorel headland.
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Cliff Rescue team training.
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On September 4 2013 the two IRB’s were on exercise in St. Ouen’s Bay, when in thick fog they were called to take part in the search for a missing aircraft in an area six miles west of the Island.
BRAVO is on the left and ALPHA on the right.
The two pictures were taken just as the fog had lifted.
Picture : © PHOTO ONE FS rescue 13 0178waw 76k
Picture : James Letto, Jersey Coastguard 358k
Rescue BRAVO working in a joint operation with the St. Helier Lifeboat to rescue a kayaker who had got into difficulties at Beauport Bay on November 10 2013. Note the RNLI crew member (white helmet) aboard the IRB.
The “A” frame which had recently been added to the craft can be clearly seen.