Emile Robin 1985/86
The EMILE ROBIN Award was made to Captain G Hindmarch and Chief Officer R Couch of the coaster MW Londonbrook for the rescue of 3 crew of the stricken Waldrian off the NW cost of Scotland in big seas on the 10th October 1985.
On 10th October, 1985 the coaster Londonbrook picked up a message about a vessel in difficulties off the NW coast of Scotland; she closed the scene and after a hour, sighted in the darkness the 54 ft Waldrian. Visibility was poor in driving rainsqualls – winds of 60 kts gusting to 70, big seas running and a heavy groundswell. There was danger of the Waldrian being embayed in Gruinard Bay. Waldrian was trying to reach the shelter of Loch Eve, but in the appalling weather conditions was making water, with the pumps unable to cope and the engine room flooding. A helicopter was scrambled from Lossiemouth, but had to turn back because of the dangerous flying conditions. Seeing the perilous situation and realising that Waldrian was beginning to sink, the Master of the Londonbrook decided to attempt an alongside rescue. This was a most hazardous manoeuvre in heavy seas and ferocious gusts of wind. However, the approach was successful and, of the three crew, two managed to scramble on board from the sinking fishing vessel, but tragically, the Skipper of the Waldrian lost his footing, slipped between the heaving vessels and was lost. Despite a search, he was, sadly, never seen again. But for the outstanding seamanship of Captain G Hindmarch, Chief Officer R Couch and crew of the Londonbrook the entire crew of the Waldrian would undoubtedly have been lost.