RNLI Trustee Fiona Fell and RNLI Lifesaving Operations Director John Payne visited New Brighton lifeboat station to commend the crew for their involvement in the rescue of a man and his dog, during an incident in which a woman sadly lost her life.
Helm Michael Stannard was presented with a bronze gallantry medal at St James’ Palace by HRH The Duke of Kent last year for his skill and courage during the incident.
Fiona offered her personal thanks to the helm and presented volunteer crew members Nelson Ramsey, Emily Craven and Thomas McGinn with awards when they visited the station yesterday afternoon.
The RNLI Trustee presented a Framed Letter of Appreciation signed by the charity’s Chief Executive and a Medal Service Certificate to all three for their individual courage, collective teamwork, and determination to save a life during the incident.
The awards are in recognition of an incident on 6 July 2020. The Atlantic 85 lifeboat launched at the upper limits of its capability with two-metre seas breaking through the carriage following concerns of two people and a dog in trouble.
The lifeboat battled three to four metre breaking seas, with two knots flooding tide adding to the challenge by accelerating the speed of the water crashing into the sea wall.
Helm Stannard made the decision to bring the lifeboat as close to the casualty as he could by attempting recovery using a throwline. After quickly briefing the crew, he turned the lifeboat to port and made a run towards the seawall.
On the third attempt, the Atlantic 85 was skilfully manoeuvred up to the casualty and a throwline was deployed. The volunteer crew encouraged the casualty to grab hold of the throwline as crew members Tom McGinn and Emily Craven pulled the man towards the safety of the lifeboat.
Helm Stannard had to immediately manoeuvre the Atlantic 85 back out to sea as the sea was pulling the lifeboat towards the sea wall.
Despite breaking seas on the bow and a four-metre backwash breaking over the lifeboat, the casualty was successfully pulled onboard by crew members McGinn and Ramsey. Although exhausted, the casualty confirmed that another person was also in the water.
Reports from the shore directed the volunteers towards the location of the second casualty. Arriving at the location the volunteers scanned the confused seas for the second person when a dog was spotted in the water, which was pulled onboard the lifeboat.
RNLI volunteers were told that the woman was being assisted on the shore by rescue teams, which included the RNLI lifeguards. The man was handed over to the care of the awaiting ambulance crew and was taken to hospital.
John Payne, Lifesaving Operations Director said, “I wish to congratulate the volunteer crew for their efforts during this incident.
“The crew collectively displayed great courage and impressive skill in incredibly challenging conditions. Helm Michael Stannard has deservedly received his bronze gallantry medal, and I’m so proud to hear the crew’s work has been recognised through a Letter of Appreciation as well as individual Medal Service Certificates.”
Image: (L-R) Nelson Ramsey, Michael Stannard, Emily Craven, and Thomas McGinn. Credit: RNLI New Brighton