TWO RNLI lifeboat volunteers have been sacked in a row over pictures of naked women on mugs on board.
The two volunteers at the Whitby lifeboat station in North Yorkshire had given each other Secret Santa presents, one of which was a mug which featured a photo of a nude woman with the face of one crewman superimposed on it.
The manager of the crew discovered the mugs in a cupboard at the base and ordered the crew to destroy them.
The mugs were deemed “inappropriate material of a sexual nature”.
Since the incident, three other people have also resigned from the same lifeboat station in protest and a petition has been launched online to get the volunteers reinstated.
In a statement, the RNLI said: “We are aware of speculation about the issue on social media but we want to stress that this was not a trivial matter.
“The lifeboat station should be an environment where people can expect to be treated with dignity and respect.
“We cannot allow buying, harassment or discrimination in what should be a safe and inclusive environment and there will be serious consequences for anybody who demonstrates this behaviour within the RNLI.”
They added that the volunteers had the right to challenge their suspension and that the operations of Whitby lifeboat had not been affected.
They said: “Our dedicated volunteers represent the values and principles of our organisation and we will not allow any behaviour that brings the work of the RNLI and our people into disrepute.”
An investigation has also been launched unto additional comments made in a WhatsApp group.