The Coastguard said sending rescue teams out onto the water in dangerous conditions to conduct inshore searches carried ‘huge risks’ and was a decision not taken lightly.
The RNLI’s inshore lifeboat was out training on Tuesday when it got a call at about 6.30pm to search waters near Green Island for the two boys, who had been swimming in the area. Winds were gusting up to force nine at the time and the seas were very rough.
A States police officer, the Coastguard and honorary police officers from St Clement also joined the search and the Fire and Rescue Service’s inshore rescue boat team were asked to attend following a 999 call from a member of the public. The RNLI’s all-weather vessel was also placed on standby.
At about 7.20pm the boys were found at a nearby address safe and well.
In a statement, the Jersey Coastguard said: ‘Given the unseasonal conditions, 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.’
Last week, at least 15 surfers, swimmers and body-boarders had to be rescued from St Ouen’s Bay near the Watersplash after being caught in a rip current. RNLI lifeguards say due to deep sandbanks creating strong rips, some of the most dangerous conditions seen in the area for years were created.
Talking about the Green Island incident, the Coastguard added: ‘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.’