RNLI crew honoured for gallantry during rescue
A HEROIC Islay lifeboat crew have been honoured after braving the elements and saving a sailor’s life during a severe storm.
The coxswain of the Islay lifeboat, David MacLellan, 46, and his crew of four were presented with the RNLI bronze medal for gallantry for their display of great skill and seamanship in saving a yachtsman in an extremely challenging environment.
The award, one of the charity’s highest accolades, was presented in front of a crowd of more than 120 at Bowmore Village Hall, Islay, on Saturday March 25. The rescue operation which, lasted more than 18 hours, took place on February 16 last year.
David, who has been with the charity since 1990, thanked his volunteer crew and fundraisers.
He said: ‘I might have been the one making the decisions and helming the boat, but this was undoubtedly a fantastic team effort with the crew on the deck doing the hard work.
‘We have a good team here on Islay with the crew, operations and fundraisers. The fundraisers do a fantastic job every year raising funds to provide the community with the best possible boat and equipment.’
RNLI chief executive Paul Bossier, who presented the award, said: ‘ The medal is awarded in recognition of your personal courage, your leadership and your remarkable seamanship on that night. You fully deserve this medal and I know that you will wear it with pride for years to come.’
He acknowledged the difficult job of being an RNLI crewman, adding: ‘It calls you out at all hours of the day and night. You deal with the elements at their most beautiful and also at their most savage, and you do so to save the lives of people who find themselves in trouble.’
David’s team – mechanic David McArthur, 42, navigator Thomas Coope, 31, and crew members Duncan MacGillvray, 32, and Peter Thomas, 38 – all received framed letters of thanks from the RNLI chairman. Captain Martin Porter, 62, of the Deep Energy pipelaying vessel, was also given a framed letter of thanks.
The gallant Islay lifeboat were honoured at Bowmore, with coxswain David MacLellan, second right, receiving the bronze medal.