News Home Cruising Australia Cruising USA Cruising Canada Boats for Sale Sail-World Racing Photo Gallery FishingBoating
Video Gallery Newsletters : Barry Gourlay receives RNLI Bronze Medal for Gallantry
Barry Gourlay receives RNLI Bronze Medal for Gallantry

When knowledgeable mariner Paul Harrison and his son Sean left North Shields on 31 July 2012 in ideal conditions aboard the 16m former lifeboat Princess, they had no idea this would be ‘the old rescuer’s’ last journey.

By midnight the wind had increased to 25 knots and large swells outran the boat. The steering gear failed and the Princess was thrown onto rocks at Crail – her propellers out of the water and a gash in her bow. Below deck, water seeped in and the cooker and fridge were hurled around.

After sending a mayday, the pair huddled together in the cabin and waited.

John Clark, Anstruther Lifeboat Operations Manager, woke to a Coastguard call at 12.50am and paged the crew. Volunteers rushed from their beds and, arriving in his pyjamas, Helmsman Barry Gourlay launched the D class lifeboat within 7 minutes with Crew Members Euan Hoggan and Becci Jewell, and their Mersey class lifeboat and crew followed.

Although time was short, the treacherous conditions prevented Barry from using the vessel’s full capacity of 25 knots and just after a mile the D class propeller became tangled in a fishing line. They were in danger of capsizing but Barry quickly managed to free the propeller blades.

Paul and Sean feared for their lives as the floor of the Princess pushed up beneath them – they decided to abandon ship. They edged along the outside rail, struggling to hold on against 3.5m breakers.

Thankfully, at the moment they were about to jump together, the D class lifeboat arrived.

Barry knew the only way to get close enough to rescue the pair was to ride a wave towards the vessel. A large wave rolled up. He took a deep breath, rode the back of the wave and spun the lifeboat round so that Paul and Sean could step aboard.

Shivering, shocked and exhausted, the father and son crouched in the lifeboat. It took three agonising minutes for the inshore lifeboat to punch through the surf and reach the Anstruther Mersey class lifeboat so that the pair could be lifted aboard by the all-weather lifeboat crew. By 1.20am, Sean and Paul were safe in the wheelhouse.

‘On that night, the Helmsman went above and beyond the call of duty,’ says Paul. ‘They all did.’

Becci and Euan receive the Thanks of the Institution Inscribed on Vellum for their bravery, determination and teamwork.

In recognition of his seamanship and bravery, Helmsman Barry Gourlay receives the RNLI Bronze Medal for Gallantry.

RNLI website



Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

2:34 AM Fri 24 May 2013GMT

Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.

Sail-World Cruising News - local and the World

Barnacle Busting by Neil and Ley Langford,

From Penguins to Polar Bears by Cherie Winner,

NCI granted dedicated VHF Channel by National Coastwatch,

Positive news for cruising boats in Greece by The Cruising Association,

Risks to penguin populations continues by British Antarctic Survey,

Follow these tips when anchoring by Alex and Daria Blackwell,

Galley Guys meet the Spice Lady by Greg Nicoll, Andy Adams and John Armstrong,

If all else fails read the instructions!! by Stuart Carruthers, RYA Cruising Manager,

Phuket Yacht Show: new kid on the block taking on PIMEX? *Feature by Guy Nowell, Sail-World Asia and Phuket Yacht Show,

Sea and Summit leg seven - Rain fails to dampen Tash's spirits
RYA meets with Government over latest red diesel development
Endangered species are like Movie Stars - Charlie Sheens and Tom Hanks
Halong becomes a Super Typhoon; Japan in harm's way
Vanuatu Customs making life easier for visiting cruising yachts
Tropical Storm Bertha expected to become a typhoon
Flags at Sea, an infographic by John Tissott
Cruising lessons from ocean racers
Procedures set out for waterborne visitors to Vanuatu
17-year-old RNLI volunteer saves child in first rescue mission + Video
Teen names latest RNLI Shannon class lifeboat in Poole + Video
RYA Sea Survival Handbook – 2nd edition now available
Fascinating opportunity with OceansWatch
Lobster Thermidor - Making Julia proud
Fake GPS signals detected when cruising the high seas
Our new Cruising Editor editor remembers his first offshore adventure
World Odyssey Race - Bringing back the Corinthian spirit
Blue Planet Odyssey - Jimmy Cornell playing catch up on North West Pa
Blue Planet Odyssey Rally - Raising climate change awareness
All Points Rally departs this November
World ARC 2014 reaches Australia   
Venezuelan Port Control lift recent port restrictions.   
Seismic survey ship operating north of Aruba and Curacao   
A Mooring in Iceberg Alley   
Boaters urged to speak up on 15%ethanol proposal   
Predictwind helps you pick the best time to depart   
IMB reports worrying trend of piracy hijacks in Southeast Asia   
Watch this whale lift a Kayak clear out of the water   
World ARC reaches half-way point in Australia   
Northern Scotland: Voyage to Orkney and Shetland Isles (Part 2) *Feature   
Vietnam Marina Development: ONE°15 Vung Ro Bay Marina Resort   
Drowning or electric shock? What you need to know to help save a life   
Costa Concordia - the $2.25 billion salvage operation ready to begin   
Northern Scotland: Voyage to Orkney and Shetland Isles, more photos *Feature   
Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show - New location and attractions   
Long Island waters could become more taxing this summer   
4.8 million Legos all at sea   
No tiller sailing - how to steer using just the sails + Video   
Tranquil, colourful and funky, Genoa Bay is a must stop for West Coast *Feature   
Scientist pioneered tracer to reveal hidden ocean flows   

For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News  

Switch Default Region to:

Social Media





New Zealand

United Kingdom

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World






Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text


Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery


Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery





Privacy Policy



Cookie Policy



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph, contact the photographer directly.
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT