News Home Cruising Photo Gallery Video Gallery : RNLI volunteer heroes receive two awards for dangerous rescue

RNLI volunteer heroes receive two awards for dangerous rescue

'Volunteer heroes with Esprit in tow'    .

The heroes of the sea are usually portrayed as the adventure sailors who sail how and where most wouldn't. So it's always good to see those other, less honoured heroes receive the recognition they deserve. In the UK, in Kent, a lifeboat crew will receive a second award for an outstanding rescue of two sailors after one of them fell overboard and was trailing by his tether.

The Whitstable Atlantic 75 will be given the Walter and Elizabeth Groombridge Award to mark the crew’s performance on 4 September last year when they launched in rough seas to rescue the couple from a yacht.

The yacht, Esprit, was sailing for Ramsgate, but due to the weather, the crew decided to go into the Swale. Both the crew come from London.

With a distress signal received from the yacht, Whistable's lifeboat launched in Force 7 (28-33knots) wind, with moderate to rough seas.

When the RNLI team arrived, they found that the yacht’s skipper had been washed overboard and he was tethered by lifelines while the other sailor, his wife, who had been unable to pull him back on board, remained on the yacht.

Jonathan Carter - now two awards for rescue -  .. .  
Helmsman Jonathan Carter had to avoid crushing the man between the lifeboat and the yacht while Tony Martin, a lifeboat crew member, was transferred onboard the yacht. The skipper required urgent hospital treatment. He was wrapped in a thermal pouch, given oxygen, and the lifeboat brought him to shore, leaving his wife and yacht at sea.

One crewman from the Sheerness Lifeboat, also called to the scene, was transferred onboard and the yacht was taken in tow, with limited options as to where to tow the yacht.

The Coxswain Robin Castle decided to head back to Sheerness; however the woman sailor onboard was in a distressed state and worried about her husband, who was believed to have been taken to the QEQM hospital in Margate.

Mr Castle requested Whitstable Lifeboat re-launch to evacuate her back to Whitstable, this was done by 4.15 pm a second crewman was transferred to the yacht and the slow tow against wind and tide re-commenced.

The yacht was eventually secured in Queenborough harbour at 6.22 pm, the lifeboat returned to moorings at 6.45 pm and was ready for service at 7.06 pm.

The RNLI was involved in the emergency for five hours.

Mike Judge, the Lifeboat Operations Manager at Whitstable, said: ‘Noone is in the RNLI to get an award. That is not why the crew turn out of their beds in the middle of the night or down tools during the day and run down the street.

‘That is the last thing on their mind. However, when the dust has settled after a very intense period of pressure on a shout, it is nice to reflect and to be recognised for that work.’

Jonathan has already been accorded the Thanks of the Institution on Vellum, the fourth most senior award in the RNLI, for his role. Crew members Tony Martin, Henry Thomson and Martin Easton received a Vellum Service Certificate and Mike received a letter of appreciation.

The Walter and Elizabeth Groombridge Award was established in 1988 to be made for the most meritorious service performed by the crew of an Atlantic 21, a lifeboat now superseded by newer models.

The Award comprises a pair of inscribed binoculars for Jonathan, framed certificates for each member of crew involved in the service, and a certificate for display in the boathouse.

For more information on the RNLI please visit

by Richard Smith, RNLI/Sail-World Cruising


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

8:57 PM Sat 21 Aug 2010 GMT

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

Click for further information on
Safety and the cruising sailor

Related News Stories:

02 Nov 2013  CYCA Trust improves search capabilities in Queensland
27 Oct 2013  Marlborough joins the NZ debate on compulsory life jackets
09 Oct 2013  Transmitter maintenance could affect BBC Marine Forecast
05 Oct 2013  World's most dangerous waters, by the WWF and Allianz
02 Sep 2013  Six basic rules for taking your pet sailing
21 Aug 2013  New Zealand's South Island better at wearing life jackets
28 Jun 2013  RNLI Sea Safety Guide - now interactive
24 Jun 2013  USA's Women Coast Guard - the effort for recognition since 1915
10 Jun 2013  WARNING against electronic flares
02 Jun 2013  Death report points to life raft stowage failure

News - USA and the World

Lightning strikes cut short CFJ Nationals by Andy Kopetzky, Santa Monica Bay

America's Cup: Group agrees to co-operate in London Meeting by Richard Gladwell/,

America's Cup: Alameda makes overtures on Venue hosting for San Fran *Feature by Richard Gladwell/,

PWA Fuerteventura Grand Slam - Antoine Albeau strikes back on day 4
Aquece Rio – International Sailing Regatta - All set for test event
ISAF World Sailing Rankings for 28 July 2014
29er World Championship - All set in Kingston
ORC World Championship - Third Course area opens for huge fleet
Day one of the Allen RS Feva World Championships
Anna Tunnicliffe On the Final two days of the Reebok CrossFit Games
Joachim Aschenbrenner takes gold at ISAF Youth Match Race Worlds 2014
Maxi Soh scores double wins in CMRC Summer Doubleheader
29er World Championship opening ceremonies in Confederation Park
PWA Fuerteventura Grand Slam - Action resumes on day 3
Land Rover Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race Start 2014 VIDEO
Laser Radial Men’s World Championship 2014- Final day
2014 Pacific Cup - Scarlet Runner wins
Gladwell's Line: America's Cup - Joint Statement is a curious note *Feature
ISAF Youth Match Racing World Champ - Top four battle it out for final
BIC Techno 293 Worlds 2014 - Day 6
PWA Fuerteventura Grand Slam - Wind teases competitors on day 2
Women’s Match Race Golfe du Morbihan - Action-packed day of racing
Herreshoff Marine Museum announces successful fundraising campaign
Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup - The most comprehensive victory yet   
Anna Tunnicliffe holds fourth at mid-point of Reebok CrossFit Games   
2014 29er North American Open Championship - Australians win   
INSA Sabot II Invitational Regatta - Erik Hou claims victory   
CMRC Summer Invitational Series - Maxi Soh wins Doubleheader A event   
International Moth World Championships - Nathan Outteridge wins   
International Moth Worlds - Victory for Nathan Outteridge + Video   
PWA Fuerteventura Grand Slam - First blood to Toselli and Angulo   
Melges 24 Nationals - Record entries for 2014 and 2015 venue revealed   
Women’s Match Race Golfe du Morbihan - Anna Kjellberg claims the lead   
Jessica Uniack Memorial Beach to Bay Race at Long Beach YC   
Laser Radial Men’s World Championship - Poland tops the leaderboard   
America's Cup - Four teams confirm full support regardless of venue   
Plastic Classic takes place at Mariposa Hunters Point YC   
Six Metre European Championship - No champion declared for 2014   
J/Teams sail tough Chicago Mackinac Race   
Anna Tunnicliffe wins first event of Reebok Cross Fit Games + Video   
2014 Pacific Cup - Skill and luck required for victory   
Six Metre European Championship - Action resumes on day 4   
BIC Techno 293 Worlds 2014 - Day 4   

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