RNLI Medal Awards

 

 
My thanks go to Barry Cox and the RNLI, for allowing me to use these service accounts from the book "Lifeboat Gallantry" and for the above photo.
 
 
The following are service records for those RNLI crewmembers that have been awarded one of the RNLI medals while serving on a Waveney class lifeboat. There have been twenty medals awarded for such services six silver, fourteen bronze and no gold.
 
The list is first sorted by medal type and then in alphabetical order by last name.
 
If anyone has any photos relating to any of these rescues, which they would be willing to let me use on this page, please get in touch e-mail.
 
Link
Recipient's Name
Position
Date of Action
Date of Award
Lifeboat Number
Lifeboat Name
Station

Gold Medals

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NONE

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Silver Medals

BERRY
Michael
Edward
Coxswain
3 September 1983
23 November 1983
44-013
Thomas James King
St Helier
BOWRY
Charles Henry
Coxswain
Mechanic
19-20 March 1980
23 July 1980
44-009
Helen Turnbull
Sheerness
CANNON
Ronald Nicholas
Coxswain
Mechanic
26 December 1985
19 March 1986
44-016
Ralph and Joy Swann
Ramsgate
DOUGAL
James A.
Coxswain
Assistant
Mechanic
6 October 1990
20 March 1991
44-001
44-001
Eyemouth
JOHNSON
Ian Jones
Coxswain
Mechanic
12 September 1980
26 November 1980
44-007
Connel Elizabeth Cargill
Troon
LIDDON
Arthur
Coxswain
Mechanic
1-2 December 1975
18 February 1976
44-004
Faithful Forester
Dover

Bronze Medals

ALCOCK
Cyril
Mechanic
15 February 1978
26 July 1978
44-010
Thomas Forehead and Mary Rowse II
Plymouth
BERRY
Michael Edward
Coxswain
14 December 1982
23 March 1983
44-004
Faithful Forester
St. Helier
BOWRY
Charles Henry
Coxswain
Mechanic
16 August 1975
21 January 1976
44-009
Helen Turnbull
Sheerness
BOWRY
Charles Henry
Coxswain
Mechanic
30 December 1978
29 March 1979
44-009
Helen Turnbull
Sheerness
BRYAN
John
Coxswain
9-10 November 1969
15 January 1970
44-003
Khami
Great Yarmouth and Gorleston
BRYAN
John
Coxswain
Mechanic
13 December 1974
12 March 1975
44-003
Khami
Great Yarmouth and Gorleston
CASTLE
Robin
Coxswain
Mechanic
16 October 1987
25 November 1987
44-009
Helen Turnbull
Sheerness
HATCHER
Charles George
Coxswain
7 December 1982
23 March 1983
44-022
William and Jane
Blyth
HAWKINS
Anthony George
Second Coxswain
Assistant Mechanic
1-2 December 1975
18 February 1976
44-004
Faithful Forester
Dover

HAWKINS
Richard John
Coxswain
Mechanic
22 December 1979
23 July 1980
44-003
Khami
Great Yarmouth and Gorleston
MAIDEN
Robert Nolan
Coxswain
10 November 1985
8 May1986
44-018
The Scout
Hartlepool
MARSHALL
Patrick John
Acting
Coxswain
15 February 1978
26 July 1978
44-010
Thomas Forehead and Mary Rowse II
Plymouth
THOMSON
Peter Neville
Coxswain
Mechanic
9 April 1988
29 June 1988
44-012
White Rose of Yorkshire
Whitby
WHITTLE
Stephen
Coxswain
Mechanic
9 July 1976
17 November 1976
44-014
St. Patrick
Dunmore East
 
 
BERRY Michael Edward, Coxswain, St. Helier Lifeboat
Date of Action: 3 September 1983
Date of Award: 23 November 1983
 
In a strong west-south-westerly gale, pitch darkness and very large waves, the Waveney class lifeboat Thomas James King launched at 3.39 a.m. Coxswain Berry took her three miles in among rocks in Clement's Bay, south-east of St. Helier, Jersey, near Demie de Pas light tower, where the French yacht Cythara was drifting. With her mainsail and jib still hoisted, the yacht was rolling and pitching heavily. After taking off two men and a woman, Coxswain Berry manoeuvred his way out of the maze of rocks, striking them twice in the process.

 
BOWRY Charles Henry, Coxswain/Mechanic, Sheerness Lifeboat
Date of Action: 19-20 March 1980
Date of Award: 23 July 1980
 
In the evening, during a strong gale, the radio ship Mi Amigo was dragging anchor in the vicinity of North West Long Sand Beacon, off the Thames Estuary, 24 miles northeast of Sheerness, Kent. The Waveney class lifeboat Helen Turnbull launched at 6.16 p.m., but met rough, breaking seas and had to reduce speed because of driving spray and heavy seas. On arrival, she found the casualty aground on Long Sand Shoal. After Coxswain Bowry had stood by for three hours, the radio ship refloated, but rolled and pitched violently, shipping heavy seas overall. He had to make 13 approaches before the four survivors could be taken off, and the ship sank soon afterwards. The lifeboat returned to Sheerness at 3 am.

 
CANNON Ronald Nicholas, Coxswain/Mechanic, Ramsgate Lifeboat
Date of Action: 26 December 1985
Date of Award: 19 March 1986
 
In rapidly deteriorating weather, the French trawler Gloire à Marie II went aground in a storm, south of Ramsgate, Kent. The Waveney class lifeboat Ralph and Joy Swann left her moorings at 8.15 p.m. after she first experienced great difficulty getting her crew on board from the pier. Despite hazardous conditions in the shallows, Coxswain Cannon manoeuvred the lifeboat close to the trawler, and two lifeboat crewmen boarded her. A tow was passed and the casualty brought off. The tow was then dismantled and the trawler, with her seven man crew, escorted into Ramsgate harbour under her own power.
 
Click here for full story.
 
Photo Ray Noble
 

 
DOUGAL James A, Acting Coxswain/Assistant Mechanic, Eyemouth Lifeboat
Date of Action: 6 October 1990
Date of Award: 20 March 1991
 
Soon after 4 p.m. a dramatic change in weather conditions led to hurricane force winds springing up from the north along the east coast of Scotland. The coastline between Dunbar and Eyemouth is popular with divers, and it soon became clear to Coastguards that a number of sub aqua enthusiasts had been caught out at sea in the hurricane.
 
Three lifeboats were alerted, including Eyemouth's relief 44 ft Waveney 44-001 which launched at 4.49 p.m. with Assistant Mechanic James Dougal at the helm. Taking the lifeboat out of the narrow harbour entrance into the face of the 100 knot hurricane was only the first great hazard the Acting Coxswain was to encounter. Twenty foot seas were running into the entrance and crashing over the sea walls. Visibility was virtually non-existent in the rain, spume and spray.
 
Clear of the dangerous rocks near the harbour entrance, James Dougal headed for St Abbs where a group of divers had been caught in the storm. The lifeboat met seas of 35 ft head on, the Acting Coxswain reducing power as he negotiated each one. The 44 ft boat rolled violently as she drove on, her side decks awash.
 
By 5.15 p.m. the lifeboat was off St Abbs Harbour, with visibility about 50 yards, wind 90 knots and the seas still breaking at a height of 35 ft over the rocky outcrops. From his position on the harbour wall, the Auxiliary Coastguard in Charge at St Abbs had miraculously spotted two of the divers in the water. He then lost sight of them in the spray and all he could see of the lifeboat was her searchlight beam. With that as his only reference he guided the lifeboat to the scene.
 
Less than 200 feet from the lifeboat's starboard side lay the Cathedral Rock, the same distance to port jutted the Ebb Can Rocks. Neither were visible and the heavy spray made them undetectable by radar. Still the Acting Coxswain persevered. His crew, lifelines secured, were out on deck scouring the sea for the divers, whom they spotted still conscious and close to a creel buoy.
 
On the third attempt James Dougal succeeded in bringing the lifeboat close enough for a crew member to throw a heaving line to the divers. Both were able to grab it and they were hauled against the lifeboat's starboard shoulder and then on to the boat.
 
There were still two divers missing south of St Abbs. Eyemouth lifeboat began a search for them but her Acting Coxswain became concerned about his two survivors who were becoming severely sea sick. However, an attempt to land them at St Abbs had to be abandoned when it became clear that entering the harbour would endanger the lifeboat. Instead the lifeboat continued to search for the other divers until 7 p.m. An attempt was made to winch the two survivors into an RAF helicopter, but the weather forced this attempt to be abandoned too.
 
By 7.45 p.m. darkness made further searching impossible and Forth Coastguard suspended the operation. The lifeboat headed south for Eyemouth only to find that there was no safe way into the harbour which forced the Coxswain to continue on to Burnmouth. On reaching this destination a power cut had extinguished the harbour leading lights but, thanks to the resourcefulness of local fishermen, car headlights were positioned to guide the lifeboat safely into harbour. Her survivors were landed into the care of the Scottish Ambulance Service.

 
JOHNSON Ian Jones, Coxswain/Mechanic, Troon Lifeboat
Date of Action: 12 September 1980
Date of Award: 26 November 1980
 
In Irvine Bay, off Irvine Harbour, Ayrshire, the Dutch dredger Holland I was in danger of parting her moorings in a gale. The Waveney class lifeboat Connel Elizabeth Cargill launched at 3.55 p.m. in poor visibility, deteriorating weather and heavy seas, which laid her on her beam ends several times during her passage. Reaching the dredger, Coxswain Johnson made an approach, avoided anchor cables, and took off one man. Another four men were then rescued, one at a time, and all were landed safely.
Photo Ian J. Johnson


 
LIDDON Arthur, Coxswain/Mechanic, Dover Lifeboat
Date of Action: 1-2 December 1975
Date of Award: 18 February 1976
 
The 1,199 ton Cypriot coaster m.v. Primrose, loaded with phosphate, suffered a loss of steering gear in storm force winds gusting up to 100 miles per hour three miles east of the breakwater at Dover, Kent. Two cross-channel ferries gave help. The Waveney class lifeboat Faithful Forester slipped her mooring at 10.37 p.m. and set out for the casualty. She was laid over on her beam ends as she left the harbour. The crew of the coaster had managed to jury rig steering gear, but the violent weather was driving the vessel towards the Goodwin Sands. At 11.30 p.m., the lifeboat reached her and advised that a course should be steered for Dover. With no pilot or tug able to get out in the violent weather, Coxswain Liddon stayed on scene and, with the ferries, piloted the coaster into the harbour at 4.12 am.
 
Also HAWKINS Anthony George, Second Coxswain/Assistant Mechanic, Dover Lifeboat

 
ALCOCK Cyril, Mechanic, Plymouth Lifeboat
Date of Action: 15 February 1978
Date of Award: 26 July 1978
 
In a violent west-south-westerly storm, accompanied by very heavy snow and a very rough sea, the fishing vessel Elly Gerda went aground on rocks, ten miles south of Rame Head, at the south end of Whitsand Bay, Cornwall. The Waveney class lifeboat Thomas Forehead and Mary Rowse II launched at 10.50 a.m. and reached the casualty. Second Coxswain Marshall twice took the lifeboat alongside the vessel, which was hard up against a vertical rock face, while Mechanic Alcock hauled off two men. They reported that the Skipper had gone overboard, but he was subsequently found to be on the casualty. Shortly after, the Elly Gerda was washed off the rocks and escorted by the lifeboat into Looe harbour.
Also MARSHALL Patrick John, Acting Coxswain, Plymouth Lifeboat

 
BERRY Michael Edward, Coxswain, St. Helier Lifeboat
Date of Action: 14 December 1982
Date of Award: 23 March 1983
 
The Norwegian yacht Festina-Lente, her engine and steering gear broken down, was a mile south of St. Helier, Jersey, in a fresh to strong breeze and moderate to rough sea. The Waveney class relief lifeboat Faithful Forester set out at 1.56 p.m. and the casualty was soon found. She had been swept into a bottleneck among rocks from where another yacht had tried, unsuccessfully, to rescue her, while six fishing boats stood by helplessly. Realising that there was no hope of towing the yacht clear, Coxswain Berry drove the lifeboat into the heavily broken water. Two survivors leaped on board, and the lifeboat was driven out stem first. The rescue operation had taken only five minutes.

 
BOWRY Charles Henry, Coxswain/Mechanic, Sheerness Lifeboat
Date of Action: 16 August 1975
Date of Award: 21 January 1976
 
The Waveney class lifeboat Helen Turnbull slipped her moorings at 1.28 a.m., cleared Garrison Point, Sheerness, Kent and headed at full speed down Medway Channel towards West Barrow Buoy where the motor sailing yacht Eladnit had lost her rudder and gone aground in a south-westerly near gale and heavy broken water. As there was danger that the lifeboat herself might ground, Coxswain Bowry anchored and two crew members were veered down in the inflatable dinghy. On learning that among the five people on board there were two children and two adults overcome by seasickness, the Coxswain towed off the casualty and transferred the crew to the lifeboat. The yacht was then towed to Sheerness.

 
BOWRY Charles Henry, Coxswain/Mechanic, Sheerness Lifeboat
Date of Action: 30 December 1978
Date of Award: 29 March 1979
 
In a strong north-easterly gale, a heavily overcast night, snow flurries, moderate to poor visibility and rough breaking seas, the cabin cruiser Ma Jolie II, overdue in passage from St. Katharine's Dock, London, to the Medway, was in trouble near Cinque Port Marshes in Gillingham Reach, off Gillingham, Kent, where there was an existing wreck. The yacht had struck the wreck, lost her propeller and was now dragging her anchor. Coxswain Bowry, in spite of many yacht moorings and very little sea room, took the Waveney class lifeboat Helen Turnbull into the shallow water three times and rescued the two man crew who were landed at Gillingham Pier at 10.20 p.m.

 
BRYAN John, Coxswain, Great Yarmouth and Gorleston Lifeboat
Date of Action: 9-10 November 1969
Date of Award: 15 January 1970
 
In a gale, rough sea and heavy swell, the Waveney class lifeboat Khami left her moorings at 7.35 p.m. to help the Danish m.v. Karen Bravo which was hove to with her cargo shifted and with engine trouble. She was found in the vicinity of Cross Sand lightvessel at 9.35 p.m., and Coxswain Bryan noticed that she was pitching heavily with a list of 20 degrees and with heavy seas breaking over her bows. The wind was now gusting to force ten over a very rough, confused sea and heavy swell, a situation worsened by intense cold and rain squalls. In seven approaches, five men were taken off, and the lifeboat stood by as the motor vessel's Master corrected her list and brought her into Gorleston harbour at 3 a.m.

 
BRYAN John, Coxswain/Mechanic, Great Yarmouth and Gorleston Lifeboat
Date of Action: 13 December 1974
Date of Award: 12 March 1975
 
In gales which had sprung up overnight, a French tug was towing a barge carrying a 500 foot jack platform, when the tow was cut 45 miles east-south-east of Gorleston, Norfolk, by the 493 ton coaster m.v. Biscaya, bound from Rotterdam to the Humber with a cargo of sulphur. The Waveney class lifeboat Khami slipped her moorings at 1.54 a.m. and made good speed to the coaster, which was reached, listing and drifting to the south-south-east, at 6.30 am. The coaster was drifting with her steering gear out of action and, when her list increased to 45 degrees at 10.45 a.m., three of her crew took to the liferaft from which they were rescued by the lifeboat. Three men remained on board the casualty, so Coxswain Bryan took the lifeboat into her lee and removed them, just before she sank. The service was completed at 6.25 p.m.

 
CASTLE Robin, Coxswain/Mechanic, Sheerness Lifeboat
Date of Action: 16 October 1987
Date of Award: 25 November 1987
 
In the west-south-westerly hurricane force winds sweeping south-east England and the English Channel, the Waveney class lifeboat Helen Turnbull was forced to leave her normal berth and, in total darkness due to a power blackout, to secure alongside the pumping plant quay at Queenborough, Isle of Sheppey. Then, alerted to two men in a small angling boat in danger off the Isle of Grain, she put out with safety lines rigged aft of the wheelhouse; every man on board had his lifejacket lights switched on. Both men were picked up and brought on board, but, in manoeuvring to get clear, a violent gust of wind forced the lifeboat's stem aground. For 30 minutes Coxswain Castle and his crew tried unsuccessfully to free her, but, at 8 am., the main engines were shut down and everybody else stayed below with all watertight doors closed, while the Coxswain and Second Coxswain remained in the wheelhouse. At 1.30 p.m., against advice, the younger angler succeeded in walking ashore. The lifeboat refloated in moderating weather at 6.17 p.m. and after pulling her off gently, Coxswain Castle returned the Helen Turnbull to her Sheerness berth.

 
HATCHER Charles George, Coxswain, Blyth Lifeboat
Date of Action: 7 December 1982
Date of Award: 23 March 1983
 
As the Waveney class lifeboat William and Jane was about to set out for a rough weather exercise, she was told of the fishing vessel Castle Cove taking water five miles north-north-east of the River Tyne. Slipping her moorings at 6.30 p.m., the lifeboat drove through the dark overcast evening, sleet showers, rough seas and heavy swell to find that the fishing vessel's engines had stopped shortly after her arrival. After being taken in tow to the River Tyne, the casualty started to sink. The tow was slipped and Coxswain Hatcher went alongside to rescue three men. The Castle Cove sank five minutes later, 500 yards north of Tyne North Pier.

 
HAWKINS Anthony George, Second Coxswain/Assistant Mechanic, Dover Lifeboat
Date of Action: 1-2 December 1975
Date of Award: 18 February 1976
 
The 1,199 ton Cypriot coaster m.v. Primrose, loaded with phosphate, suffered a loss of steering gear in storm force winds gusting up to 100 miles per hour three miles east of the breakwater at Dover, Kent. Two cross-channel ferries gave help. The Waveney class lifeboat Faithful Forester slipped her mooring at 10.37 p.m. and set out for the casualty. She was laid over on her beam ends as she left the harbour. The crew of the coaster had managed to jury rig steering gear, but the violent weather was driving the vessel towards the Goodwin Sands. At 11.30 p.m., the lifeboat reached her and advised that a course should be steered for Dover. With no pilot or tug able to get out in the violent weather, Coxswain Liddon stayed on scene and, with the ferries, piloted the coaster into the harbour at 4.12 am.
 
Also LIDDON Arthur, Coxswain/Mechanic, Dover Lifeboat

 
HAWKINS Richard John, Coxswain/Mechanic Great Yarmouth and Gorleston Lifeboat
Date of Action: 22 December 1979
Date of Award: 23 July 1980
 
The fishing vessel St. Margarite went aground on Scroby Sands off Yarmouth, Norfolk, in a north-easterly strong breeze with rough steep seas and a very heavy easterly swell. As the fishing vessel was in danger of breaking up, the Waveney class lifeboat Khami launched and headed across the sandbanks. Coxswain Hawkins made two approaches. One man was taken on board on the second attempt and another man fell into the sea, but was rescued. The fishing vessel shortly after floated off the sandbank. A lifeboatman was put on board, a tow established and she was then taken to Gorleston, where later she sank at her moorings.

 
MAIDEN Robert Nolan, Coxswain, Hartlepool Lifeboat
Date of Action: 10 November 1985
Date of Award: 8 May1986
 
In a violent north-easterly storm and heavy breaking high seas, the Dutch coaster Anne was dragging her anchor. Shortly after midnight, she ran aground on Long Scar Rocks near Hartlepool, Co. Durham. The Waveney class lifeboat The Scout slipped her moorings and, on reaching the scene, Coxswain Maiden took her in four times. While rescuing the four man crew, the lifeboat was twice swept by heavy seas which broke over and around the casualty. The coaster's Captain remained at risk on board, but as the tide fell, the immediate danger passed.

 
MARSHALL Patrick John, Acting Coxswain, Plymouth Lifeboat
Date of Action: 15 February 1978
Date of Award: 26 July 1978
 
In a violent west-south-westerly storm, accompanied by very heavy snow and a very rough sea, the fishing vessel Elly Gerda went aground on rocks, ten miles south of Rame Head, at the south end of Whitsand Bay, Cornwall. The Waveney class lifeboat Thomas Forehead and Mary Rowse II launched at 10.50 a.m. and reached the casualty. Second Coxswain Marshall twice took the lifeboat alongside the vessel, which was hard up against a vertical rock face, while Mechanic Alcock hauled off two men. They reported that the Skipper had gone overboard, but he was subsequently found to be on the casualty. Shortly after, the Elly Gerda was washed off the rocks and escorted by the lifeboat into Looe harbour.
 
Also ALCOCK Cyril, Mechanic, Plymouth Lifeboat

 
THOMSON Peter Neville, Coxswain/Mechanic, Whitby Lifeboat
Date of Action: 9 April 1988
Date of Award: 29 June 1988
 
The yacht Cymba was driven towards the shore after capsizing off Whitby harbour. The D Class inflatable lifeboat Gwynaeth launched at 8.40 a.m. followed by the Waveney class lifeboat White Rose of Yorkshire. After negotiating heavy breaking seas at the harbour entrance, Helmsman Botham turned west towards the casualty which was in very rough broken water. The inflatable lifeboat picked a man from the water, but on examination found him to be dead. Meanwhile, Coxswain Thomson had taken his lifeboat inshore because the yacht was being driven inland with a survivor in the water on the stem side, apparently attached to her in some way. Heading in toward her, the lifeboat was struck by two large seas; this incident persuaded the Coxswain to take her in stern first through atrocious sea conditions. He managed to secure the man at the third approach, and the survivor was dragged alongside the lifeboat, lifted in, and later landed at Whitby. The lifeboat then went back to sea to escort fishing vessels into harbour - a regular duty.

 
WHITTLE Stephen, Coxswain/Mechanic, Dunmore East Lifeboat
Date of Action: 9 July 1976
Date of Award: 17 November 1976
 

An open boat was seen to go on to rocks near Falskirt Rock, off the southern coast of Co. Wexford, Ireland. The Waveney class lifeboat St. Patrick launched, and cleared the harbour at 3.05 a.m. in a heavy swell with the wind increasing to force five, accompanied by driving rain. The search and approach to the casualty were made more difficult by the large number of salmon nets and lobster pots in the area, but Coxswain Whittle brought the lifeboat into the very narrow and shallow channel, where a buoy was thrown to one man, who was hauled on board. There was no sign of the other crew member.


 
 
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