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Skill and Gallantry Awards 2018

Award winners 2018

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 – Crews of Helimer 202 and Helimer 207

The Edward and Maisie Lewis Award, for an ‘outstanding rescue’, was presented to the entire crews on-board salvage helicopters, Helimer 202 and Helimer 207, that assisted with the evacuation of 23 crew members of the British cargo vessel, MV Cheshire, which was engulfed with fire whilst south of Gran Canaria.

The crews were honoured for their courage and quick-thinking in the rescue, whilst enduring the toxic fumes from the explosion.

Read the full citation here.

Individual Commendations – Javier Losada Carballo and Victor Torres Navarro 

Rescue swimmers, Javier Losada Carballo and Victor Torres Navarro, were awarded Individual Commendations for their heroic contribution to the rescue of the crew members onboard the MV Cheshire.

Javier was the first swimmer on board and exhibited exceptional bravery amidst the extreme conditions of heat and toxic smoke to airlift four crew members from the ship. His actions were quickly followed by those of Victor, who, exhibiting the same degree of bravery, battled with the onboard conditions to move between bow and stern of the ship to rescue a further 11 crew whilst notably suffering the ill effects of the toxic fumes.

Read the full citation here.

Individual Commendation – Steve Chamberlain

Steve Chamberlain, a deck officer for Wightlink, received an Individual Commendation for his courageous rescue of a man who fell from Gunwharf Quays into freezing water in Portsmouth on 3 February.

When the casualty was unable to grab onto the life ring thrown towards him, deck officer Chamberlain did not hesitate to help the man in trouble, putting his own safety at risk in the process.

Read the full citation here.

Crew Commendation – Crew of the St. Barbara V

The crew of St Barbara V were awarded a special Crew Commendation for their heroic rescue of five crew members of a yacht that violently overturned off the coast of Tenerife.

On 7 December 2017, whilst on passage from Tenerife, skipper of the St Barbara V, Lt. Col. Neil Wilson, spotted a yachting crew in icy water, before skilfully steering his vessel close to the stricken crew, despite being subject to Storm Force 7 winds.

The rest of St Barbara’s crew responded immediately to the treacherous situation and with Lt. Col. Wilson’s skilful manoeuvring were able to haul the casualties out of the water and onboard the boat to safety.

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.

  • Fleetwood: Revd George Ayoma, who has been the Mission Area Officer for Fleetwood for the last decade, has been honoured with a Lord Lewin Award by the Society for his commitment to delivering cheques to charity beneficiaries in the area, completing new applications and reviewing the cases of those receiving support from the charity. His popularity and hard work within the local maritime community has seen him dubbed ‘Mr Fleetwood’ by some residents.

Read the full citation here.

  • Filey: A Lord Lewin award was also presented to Martin Douglas, who has been an honorary agent for the charity for the last 27 years. Martin also looks after the Society’s collecting mine in Filey and has dedicated a significant amount of time to ensuring its restoration following several acts of vandalism.

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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