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Skill & Gallantry Awards

2020 Skill & Gallantry Awards

The Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society is calling on members of the maritime and rescue communities to nominate those who have demonstrated outstanding bravery and expertise in aiding those in peril at sea, for its 169th Skill and Gallantry Awards.

For more information about this year’s awards, click here.

Award winners 2019

Since 1851, the Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society has presented annual Skill and Gallantry Awards to recognise the UK’s unsung sea rescue heroes, as well as those who have given outstanding service to the charity.

Edward & Maisie Lewis Award for an Outstanding Air/Sea Rescue – Crew of Rescue 01

The Edward and Maisie Lewis Award, for an ‘outstanding rescue’, was presented to the crew of Rescue 01, based at Mount Pleasant Airfield in the Falkland Islands, for carrying out two consecutive, complex and demanding rescues that would in turn put themselves at risk, with no secondary search and rescue helicopter following behind in case of emergency.

The crew were honoured for their courage and determination in the rescue, having operated at ranges well beyond those that would be normally expected.

Read the full citation here.

Crew Commendation – Crew of Rescue 924

The crew of a rescue helicopter 924 were honoured for outstanding airmanship, teamwork, skill and determination following the dramatic rescue of six crew members from a stricken French Fishing Vessel earlier this year.

The rescue was conducted at night, in atrocious weather and sea conditions, with the added pressure that the vessel was slowly drifting towards rocks. Although the fishing crew were wearing immersion suits and life jackets, if they had entered the water, their chances of survival in the raging sea would have been very slim. The rescue was dynamic and in appalling conditions, but from commencement of the winching it took less than 20 minutes to recover all six crew and winchman to the aircraft.

Read the full citation here.

Lady Swaythling Trophy – Jay Holden

Jay Holden, the skipper of the Fishing Vessel Emelia Jayne, was awarded the Lady Swaythling Trophy for outstanding seamanship, having facilitated the rescue of his crewmate earlier this year.

In the early hours of Sunday 10 March 2019, a fisherman from the Emelia Jayne was swept overboard having been struck by a large wave which lifted him off his feet and over the side of the vessel.

Whilst the rescue of his crewmember involved multiple parties, Mr Holden’s quick thinking, cool professionalism and excellent seamanship, including a long-term focus on maintaining a robust safety regime, underpinned the amazing rescue.

Read the full citation here.

Awards to Honorary Agents/Volunteers

The Lord Lewin Award – for outstanding service to the Society

This award is given to Honorary Agents of the Society who have given outstanding and long service.

  • Brightlingsea: Caroline Spencer has been an Honorary Agent for the charity in Brightlingsea since 2003, having taken over the role from her late husband Jim who had himself volunteered in the position from 1991. Caroline was honoured for being an effective and dedicated fundraiser for the Society, not only in managing one of its large collecting mines, including overseeing the delivery and installation of a brand new mine in 2007, but also in undertaking a wide range of additional activities, including delivering fundraising talks on behalf of the Society, helping to promote its Christmas cards and in administering several model collection mines in the local area.

Read the full citation here.

  • Hull: A Lord Lewin award was also presented to Sylvia (Sal) Van Beem, who has been an honorary agent for the charity for the last four years. Sylvia spends her time supporting more than 200 regular beneficiaries in the Hull area, developing a very strong relationship with fishermen and their families and has submitted hundreds of applications for support on behalf of both regular beneficiaries and those requiring one-off support.

Read the full citation here.

Since 1839, the Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society has provided financial and practical help, assistance and advice to fishermen and mariners and their dependants who have suffered hardship, misfortune or poverty, as a result of being at sea or in retirement.

To celebrate Britain’s proud and enduring connection with the sea, the Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society runs a national annual photography competition. Launched to mark national Seafarers Awareness Week in June, the Charity encourages amateur and professional photographers to find the UK’s ultimate sea view.

To find out more information about the Charity, visit our website, our Facebook page or follow us on Twitter.

You can also Gift Aid your contribution, meaning the Society can claim an additional 25 pence from HM Revenue & Customs for every £1 you donate.

You can post a contribution at any time to 1 North Pallant, Chichester PO19 1TL – cheques should be made payable to ‘Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society’.

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Buying Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society greeting cards can be a great way of supporting us. We have a full range of charity cards and gifts!

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