Lifeboat crew win bravery award

RNLI volunteers from Cardigan received national recognition last Thursday (March 12) when they won the St David Bravery Award by First Minister Carwyn Jones at a special ceremony.

The award was presented to Derek Pusey, Leonard Walters and Clive Williams by First Minister Carwyn James at a celebrity-studded bash in the Welsh Assembly Building.

Derek, Len and Clive were nominated for their roles in a dramatic night-time rescue. Back in September 2013, Cardigan RNLI were requested to launch both lifeboats to rescue two people cut off by the tide, who were stranded on a ledge amongst steep rocks near Tresaith beach.

Helmsman Leonard Walters steered the Atlantic 85 class lifeboat Albatross as close to the cliffs as possible during rough seas and gusting winds. But when the boat was unable to get close enough, Clive Williams volunteered to swim through the choppy waters in order to reach the pair. Clive reached the rocky shoreline where he was knocked off his feet several times by powerful waves before he managed to reach the men.

The men were given lifejackets as they waited for the D-class lifeboat, helmed by Derek Pusey, to reach them. Due to the rough conditions, it took four attempts before the lifeboat was able to get close enough to reach the pair. The men were then transferred to the Atlantic 85 class lifeboat and both crews returned to shore.

Nigel Jones, RNLI Divisional Operations Manager, praised the efforts of the three volunteers: “Derek, Len and Clive showed great courage and leadership during the daring rescue of two stranded walkers off the cliffs off Tresaith back in 2013.”

“The RNLI are extremely proud of the courage and teamwork Cardigan lifeboat crew showed during the daring rescue and it’s great to hear that they’ve been recognised again for their efforts. Derek and Len used their skills and experience to lead the lifeboat crew to a successful rescue whilst Clive demonstrated selfless courage by entering the water to reach and reassure the casualties.

“On behalf of the charity I would like to congratulate Cardigan RNLI for winning the St David Bravery Award in Cardiff last night.”

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Dayne Stone

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