Jersey Coastguard statement re swimmers at Green Island

From Jersey Coastguard,
31 July 2019

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As follows is a statement on behalf of Jersey Coastguard in relation to an incident involving two young swimmers at Green Island:  

Yesterday evening, Tuesday 30 July 2019, at approximately 1830hrs, Jersey Coastguard was alerted by the States of Jersey Police of a report of two young people seen swimming near the Green Island area. Given the conditions (WSW'rly wind F7 gusting F9), an officer from both the States of Jersey Police and Jersey Coastguard immediately attended the scene to assess and establish the appropriate assistance required.

On arrival. the Police and Coastguard officers worked together to conduct a visual sweep of the immediate and surrounding area, with no persons seen. While conducting enquiries with members of the public, it was confirmed that two young boys had been swimming in the area a short while before and were not located at that time.

Coincidentally, the RNLI lifeboats were launching on exercise and the St Helier ILB was requested to be tasked to assist, and, should it be required, the St Helier ALB was put on standby. The States of Jersey Fire Rescue inshore vessel was also requested to attend, and the St Clement Honorary Police also requested to assist with a shoreline search. Further information searches were conducted in conjunction with Jersey Coastguard and led by the States of Jersey Police. These included visiting an address in the nearby vicinity. During these enquiries a vital piece of information was passed to us via a local restaurant owner. This was key in establishing whether the two youngsters were in fact safe ashore or in difficulty.

The St Helier ILB conducted a preliminary search from Le Hocq to Green Island slightly offshore while waiting further updates from Coastguard and Police. The States of Jersey Fire Rescue Service inshore crew arrived at the agreed rendezvous point of Green Island and stood by, due to further updates of information being received.

At approximately 19:20hrs, the Police confirmed the two young people were safe and well at a home address and there were no other people involved. It was verified that these were the two young people referred to in the original report by a member of the public.  All units were stood down and members of the public whom provided valuable information also thanked for their assistance.

Given the unseasonal conditions yesterday evening it goes without saying that this situation could have ended much differently. We would like to reiterate some of the messages over the past few days relating to the unseasonal conditions. Please think carefully before entering the water and ensure that it is safe to do so and within your capabilities as a swimmer. Always take into consideration the wind, sea and tide conditions. We recommend visiting Lifeguard patrolled beaches and swimming between the red and yellow flags.  Additional signage was deployed warning of the expected conditions at Green Island and the south coast. In conditions such as this, committing search assets close inshore carries huge risks for those crews involved and the decision is never taken lightly.

Jersey Coastguard would like to thank all involved with this incident. The ability to bring the operation to a safe conclusion was in no small part due to the teamwork between Emergency Services, the clarity and frequency of the information shared by both the Emergency Services Joint Control Room, Maritime Operations Centre and search units but most of all the vigilance and assistance from the general public.

-Ends-


Jersey Coastguard