Volunteers in the Channel Islands mark the 200th anniversary of RNLI

  • ITV Channel reporter Katya Fowler ventures to sea with RNLI volunteers...

RNLI volunteers in the Channel Islands have been marking the organisation's 200th anniversary on Monday 4 March 2024.

Over the past two centuries, the charity has launched over 5,000 lifeboats across both bailiwicks.

Some members of St Helier's RNLI crew have been representing the Channel Islands at a service in Westminster Abbey.

On why he joined, volunteer Gibby said: "I used to watch the St Catherine's inshore lifeboat come in and out all the time.

"There's no better feeling than that person who comes up to you and says: 'Do you know what? Really thanks for that'."

He added: "We don't do it for any glory or self-gratification - it's just that thing of knowing you've helped someone."

While coastal communities using rescue boats dates back to the 1700s, it was Yorkshire-born Sir Hillary who created a national service in 1824.

Since its inception, the lifeboat service has saved more than 1,500 lives across the Channel Islands across its four lifeboat stations.

One man who was saved by the RNLI was pilot Duncan, who had to perform an emergency landing in the sea during a training flight.

Duncan said: "The first sight of seeing them... the emotion was relief, because we knew that someone was coming to get us and take us back to safety.

"Without them we'd probably still be bobbing around in our dingy trying to get back to Jersey so of course we're absolutely grateful as much as we ever can be."

Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our podcast to find out What You Need To Know...