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RNLI scandal - what are the ‘porno’ mugs and how many lifeboat men were sacked?

A BIZARRE scandal over so-called “pornographic” coffee mugs has rocked voluntary lifesavers working for the RNLI. Joe Winspear and Ben Laws failed in their bid to be reinstated by Whitb…


A BIZARRE scandal over so-called "pornographic" coffee mugs has rocked voluntary lifesavers working for the RNLI.

Joe Winspear and Ben Laws failed in their bid to be reinstated by Whitby RNLI after they were dismissed following the row in May 2018. Here's what we know...

A mock-up of how a mug with Winspear on it may have looked

What are the ‘pornographic’ mugs which sparked the storm?

The crew at Whitby RNLI  swapped saucy mugs featuring various “jokey” designs as Secret Santa gifts at Christmas.

One featured a photograph of a nude woman with the head of one crewman superimposed onto the x-rated body.

However, when a female boss later visited the lifeboat station she found the mugs in a cupboard.

Sources say the crew were then told to destroy them and told the matter would go no further.

But in March the men were told the mugs were a “safeguarding breach” because they might be seen by visiting school pupils.

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Crewman Ben Laws was sacked by phone

How many lifeboat men were sacked on the back of the scandal?

Two lifeboatmen - both unpaid volunteers - were sacked following the row which made headlines in May 2018.

Joe Winspear and Ben Laws later failed in their bid to be reinstated by Whitby RNLI after they were dismissed.

The sackings sparked resignations of four crew members, while a fifth is said to be on the brink of quitting.

The RNLI said it was standing by its original decision following the appeal after their actions went “far beyond banter”.

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Joe Winspear, 26, said the decision was 'heartbreaking'

What are the sacked men saying now?

Ben Laws, 36, a café owner said: “We’ve recovered too many unfortunate people who didn’t make it, but we always did it with pride, respect, and dignity.

“Me and Joe have borne the brunt of a witch hunt and massive cover up…Regional management have hung us out to dry.”

Joe Winspear, 26, a bank worker, said the decision was “heartbreaking”, and added: "The mugs were a light-hearted joke… none of the crew was offended.”

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