RNLI man honoured after swimming into cove to rescue fisherman
A COURAGEOUS RNLI crewman who rescued a terrified angler from a storm-lashed sea cave has been awarded one of the charity’s top bravery awards.
• Crewman rescued fisherman who had been swept into cave
Darren Crowe, 40, a volunteer helmsman with the St Abbs lifeboat crew in the Borders, risked his life in June 2011 to save a fisherman.
Simon Haston, 44, the firefighter whose life he saved, had been washed into the cave near St Abbs head, known as Ty’s Tunnel, where he was described by those involved in the rescue as being “completely at the mercy of the powerful swell, cold, battered and clinging to a half submerged rock.” He was rescued after Mr Crowe swam into the narrow cave entrance and hauled him to safety.
Mr Crowe received the RNLI’s Bronze Medal for Gallantry at the charity’s annual awards ceremony.
And Mr Haston, a member of Lothian and Borders Fire Service, told the audience: “I am massively grateful. I owe the RNLI my life and I have never had to say that about anyone before. I do owe them my life.
“I know I would have died if they had not come and got me - I would have died.”
Mr Crowe admitted that he had also been on the edge of his physical and mental limits when he rescued the fire-fighter. He recalled: “When I grabbed hold of him I could tell he was all cut up, he was shaking like a leaf, he was terrified.
“The tide was filling in and I knew the cave submerged at high water. It was a total nightmare. I am quite a good swimmer but I was on the very limit that day.”
Two other members of the Crowe family who took part in the dramatic rescue - his uncle Alistair, 64, the lifeboat operations manager, and brother James, 38, a former crew member whose help was enlisted on the day of the rescue - also attended the ceremony where they were awarded a Framed Letter of Thanks signed by the RNLI chairman. Admiral Lord Boyce.
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Monday 20 May 2013
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