sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Cruising Photo Gallery Video Gallery

 

Sail-World.com : Bravery Award for volunteer who rescued seven

Bravery Award for volunteer who rescued seven

'Liquid Vortex rescue'    .

A British volunteer is to be awarded a Silver Medal for Gallantry, one of the highest honours of the Royal National Lifesaving Institution (RNLI), for his bravery in rescuing the crew of a yacht, the sail-training owner of which has since had its accreditation removed by the Royal Yachting Association.

Dungeness RNLI volunteer lifeboat crew member Garry Clark is to be awarded the high honour for 'exemplary bravery and determination' during the rescue of seven people from the yacht Liquid Vortex on 3 January 2012. (See two previous stories: Sail training crew rescued in 60 knot weather?nid=94152 and RYA training provider no longer recognised?nid=94152)

Garry played a critical role in saving seven lives during a rescue, which took place in fierce storms and involved Garry being transferred to the casualty vessel.

The story of the rescue:
Early in the morning on 3 January 2012, in force 9 severe gales, rough seas and poor visibility, the Dungeness RNLI all-weather lifeboat was requested to launch to the yacht Liquid Vortex. This vessel was struggling in extreme weather conditions three miles east of Dungeness Point, with five of its seven crew suffering from seasickness.

The volunteer crew launched the lifeboat at 5.40am. Once at sea, the conditions worsened to storm force 10 winds (48–55 knots), with waves of around 7–9 metres high. On arrival at the scene, the crew found the casualty vessel being battered by the rough seas. While the crew assessed the situation, an enormous wave struck both vessels from behind, spinning the yacht through 180 degrees. The skipper immediately transmitted a Mayday call, reporting that the yacht’s helmsman had been smashed against the helm, suffering injuries and damaging the steering. This left the skipper as the only person aboard the yacht in a fit state to work with the lifeboat crew during the rescue. The inflatable liferaft, which had been tethered to the back of the yacht, had also been swept away.

The first attempts to transfer two lifeboat crew onto the stricken yacht were unsuccessful due to the horrendous weather conditions so instead the crew tried to set up a tow. It took several attempts to position the lifeboat close enough to throw a line across to the yacht. A tow was established but, after just 20 minutes, with the yacht twisting violently, the line snapped.

With the situation becoming increasingly dangerous, Deputy Second Coxswain Mark Richardson tried again to get two crew on board. Garry managed, despite the conditions, to leap from the bow of the lifeboat onto the yacht. By this time, the weather had deteriorated further, with winds gusting to force 11 (56–63 knots), so Dover RNLI all-weather lifeboat was also requested to launch to assist with the planned tow back to Dover.

While Dover RNLI lifeboat crew were on their way, Garry was aboard the yacht – which was being tossed around in violent seas – making an assessment of the casualties. He saw there were two men in the cockpit with the skipper. In the rear cabins, he found a man who was responsive but in pain and bleeding, and three females suffering severe seasickness. After assessing the casualties, Garry worked with the skipper to re-establish a tow line. Just six minutes later, the line parted again. It was impossible to stand up. All movement around the yacht was by crawling on all fours.

Deputy Second Coxswain Richardson repositioned the lifeboat and Garry managed to secure a third tow. While re-securing the tow, the tow line snagged under the yacht, meaning Garry had no choice but to lean over, putting himself in even more danger, and cut the tow line. The lifeboat crew managed to re-establish a shorter tow and ploughed on through the rolling seas. At one point, a huge wave crashed over the lifeboat’s deck, nearly sweeping one of the crew overboard. He was quickly saved by a fellow crew member grabbing a strap on his lifejacket.

By 9am, Dungeness lifeboat crew had been battling the appalling conditions for three-and-a-half hours. Both Dungeness and Dover lifeboats had attempted to set up a tow but the conditions proved too difficult. Garry then worked with the skipper to pull and bend the wheel to a point where it could be used. The yacht was twisting heavily in the seas but the skipper was able to steer the yacht behind Dover lifeboat, freeing Garry to go back and check on the yacht’s crew. The casualty with an injured jaw and chest was in significant pain so Garry requested pain relief from Dungeness lifeboat, and helped administer it to the casualty.

At 9.40am, the rescue helicopter arrived and the four casualties in the cabin were winched off the yacht by 10.25am. Eventually, in a more sheltered area of the coast, Dover lifeboat managed to secure a tow line and began heading for Ramsgate harbour. Garry remained aboard the yacht and, with the wind now gusting to a violent storm force 11, assisted in steering it behind Dover lifeboat to the safety of Ramsgate. They all finally berthed at 12.20pm after an exhausting six-and-a-half hours at sea in the most appalling conditions.

Other Awards for the same incident:
Garry Clark's fellow crew members will also be recognised for their role in the dramatic rescue. Dungeness RNLI Deputy Second Coxswain Mark Richardson and Mechanic/Deputy Second Coxswain Trevor Bunney will be awarded Thanks of the Institution inscribed on Vellum. Silver Medal Service Badges, Certificates and a Letter of Appreciation signed by the RNLI’s Chief Executive will be awarded to Deputy Second Coxswain Roger Gillett and Crew Members Simon Collins, Terence Ashford and Jeff Henderson.

The Dover RNLI lifeboat crew, who were also involved in the challenging rescue, will be recognised. Coxswain Mark Finnis, Deputy Second Coxswain James Clapham, Mechanic Lee Hand, and Crew Members Michael Vaughan, Paul Abbitt, Wayne Sherwood and Ian Miller, will receive a Letter of Appreciation signed by the RNLI’s Chief Executive.

Andrew Ashton, RNLI Divisional Inspector of Lifeboats, East, said, ‘This was a long and gruelling service in increasingly perilous conditions. Crew member Garry Clark demonstrated the utmost courage and determination, boarding the yacht and managing multiple tasks, to ensure a safe and successful outcome, while in turbulent seas. Garry’s bravery and actions epitomise the traditional values of the RNLI.

‘Deputy Second Coxswain Mark Richardson and Mechanic/Deputy Second Coxswain Trevor Bunney showed highly commendable competence, professionalism, leadership and boat-handling skills. In addition, the rest of the Dungeness and Dover crew are also to be commended for playing a crucial role in the rescue, enduring horrendous sea conditions to ensure seven lives were saved that day.’

The RNLI Medals for Gallantry are presented to recipients at the charity’s Annual Presentation of Awards at the Barbican in London in May of each year.

Did you like this article? If you are not a Sail-World subscriber already, did you know that you can keep up with all the news from the world of the cruising sailor with a weekly news hit? It's totally free, as all our income is from the advertisers.

Once you subscribe, all the non-racing news comes to you in one easy to read news magazine, right to your inbox. AND it's up to date, so you don't have to wait for the end of the month to find out what's going on. You can even subscribe a friend. Click here now?nid=94152!




by RNLI/Sail-World Cruising

  

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

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=94152

2:01 AM Wed 22 Feb 2012 GMT






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


Related News Stories:

03 Dec 2013  Deaf British yachtsman receives RYA Sailability Award
01 Dec 2013  HMS Bounty rescuers receive top IMO Bravery Award for hurricane rescue
12 Nov 2013  South Australian Sea Rescue Squadron receives CYCA SOLAS Trusts grant
29 Oct 2013  Ten inducted into the USA's National Sailing Hall of Fame
21 Sep 2013  Sir Robin Knox-Johnston: another prestigious award in Monaco
18 Sep 2013  New Zealand honours Coastguard volunteers
02 Sep 2013  Bravery awards for Brighton yacht crew
06 Aug 2013  European Yacht of the Year Awards 2014 - the nominations are out!
26 Jul 2013  DAME Awards for innovation: Call for entries
15 Jul 2013  HMS Bounty rescue swimmers honoured, tell the story
MORE STORIES ...

News - USA and the World

Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 CEO Knut Frostad talks (Part I) *Feature by Rob Kothe and the Sail-World team,


Fisher's View: Sailing perfection at Hamilton Island- Day 3 by Bob Fisher, Hamilton Island, Queensland








America's Cup: Team NZ wish Davis well with new team by Richard Gladwell, Sail-world.com/nz,


2014 Formula Kite World Championship Day 1 by Markus Schwendtner, Istanbul
























Opera House Cup - Images by Ingrid Abery by Ingrid Abery/Sail-World.com,


Teams descend upon Cowes for inaugural J/111 World Championships by Stuart Johnstone, Cowes, Isle of Wight, England




























2014 Nanjing Youth Olympic Games trailer
2014 Chicago Grand Slam - Canfield wins
Round Britain and Ireland Race - Varuna takes overall lead
Audi Hamilton Island Race Week; Crosbie Lorimer Day 1 Images
Fisher's View: Hamilton Island Race Week - Day 1 - Stayin' Alive
CORK Olympic Classes Regatta 2014 - Day one
Youth Olympics: practice over, athletes welcomed, time for YOG sailing
Round Britain and Ireland Race - Record for Artemis-Team Endeavour
2014 Melges 32 U.S. National Championship - Day 2
Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland: Artemis sets fourth course record
2014 Chicago Grand Slam - Top seeds survive as semi-finalists
420 and 470 Junior Europeans - Breezy day 4 in Gdynia
RC44 World Championship - Dramatic improvement for Artemis Racing
18' Skiff International Regatta - Action begins August 25th
Round Britain and Ireland Race - Challenging conditions arise
Round Britain and Ireland Race - Record-breaking monohull victory
Round Britain and Ireland Race - Dongfeng Race Team finishes third
RC44 Marstrand World Championship - Bronenosec the star performer
Bahamian Olympic Sailor to carry flag in honour of Sir Durward Knowles
Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race: Records continue to tumble
Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race: Course Record for Team SCA   
Round Britain and Ireland Race - Team Alvimedica completes the race   
2014 Melges 32 U.S. National Championship - Day 1   
420 and 470 Junior European Championships - A crazy race day 3   
2014 Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race: Monohull record smashed   
2014 Chicago Grand Slam - Top seeds take the early lead   
Frostad proud to have seven Volvo Ocean Race boats with seven sponsors *Feature   
RC44 World Championship - Bronenosec Sailing Team on form   
Round Britain and Ireland Race - Dongfeng defends third position   
Volvo Ocean Race: Team Vestas Wind emerges into the sunlight   
Volvo Ocean Race: Round Britain on board Team SCA with the   
Volvo Ocean Race: Round Britain on board Azzam and Team Campos   
Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race - Twist of fate on day 5   
Mallorca’s Puerto Portals to host the 2015 TP52 World Championship   
Volvo Ocean Race: Round Britain on board with Team Alvimedica   
Volvo Ocean Race: Round Britain with on board with Team Dongfeng   
Melges 32 U.S. National Championship 2014 - Teams ready for action   
USA Match Racing Grand Slam Series - Kicks off in Chicago   
U.S. Youth Championships - Climactic finish on Lake St. Clair   
Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games - Lake Jinniu action on the horizon   


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







Sail-World.com  


















Switch Default Region to:

Social Media

Asia

Australia

Canada

Europe

New Zealand

United Kingdom


http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/Twitter_logo_small.png http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/FaceBook-icon.png  http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/RSS-Icon.png

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World

 

Contact

Commercial

News

Search

Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text

Feedback

Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery

 

Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery

Policies

 

 

 

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.
XLXL WAS US
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT