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Scarborough Lifeboat Volunteer Receives RNLI Bravery Award

Scarborough RNLI Crewman

The courage, skill and leadership of a Scarborough RNLI crewman is being recognised after he took part in a dangerous and difficult service in rough conditions earlier this year.

Rudi Barman (36) is being awarded the RNLI's bronze medal for gallantry, an honour last bestowed nationally three years ago and locally in 1973.

The RNLI Bronze Medal for Gallantry is one of four major awards given by the charity for meritorious actions. The other three being the RNLI’s Silver and Gold medals and the Thanks of the Institution inscribed on Vellum. It is in the gift of the RNLI Trustees to award these honours and they are not handed out lightly.

Crew members Craig Burnett (45), Adam Beston (30), Peter Billingsley (48) and Jason Hedges (29) will receive the Thanks of the Institution in recognition of their part in the incident.

On 22 February, Scarborough's inshore lifeboat launched into strong winds, treacherous seas and darkness in an attempt to rescue local man Andrew McGeown, who got into difficulties after going into the sea to rescue his dog.

With Mr Barman in command and Mr Burnett and Mr Beston on board, they repeatedly manoeuvred the D-class lifeboat towards the shore amidst confused and breaking waves.

They eventually managed to haul Mr McGeown onto the lifeboat, return him to shore and administer CPR.

Dr Billingsley and Mr Hedges – a paramedic – continued to administer CPR on shore, but tragically Mr McGeown did not survive.

RNLI operations director George Rawlinson said:
"It took exceptional boat-handling skill, leadership and bravery for Rudi, along with his crew, to attempt to rescue Mr McGeown in confused seas, at night and close to a dangerous shore."

"Although this rescue was marked by tragedy, it is a testament to their team work and tenacity that they did everything they could to reach the casualty and bring him ashore."

"I'd like to thank Rudi, his lifeboat crew and the shore crew for their courage and dedication. I'd also like to recognise and thank their families and the community who support the station's volunteers. Our charity couldn't do its lifesaving work without their support and I appreciate their help and commitment."

Mr Barman said:
"It is a great honour to receive this award and I feel very proud to be a part of Scarborough lifeboat crew and the RNLI."

"This was a difficult rescue in very challenging conditions and we did everything we possibly could for Andrew so we were all devastated that we were unable to save him. It was a huge effort from all those involved and a real tragedy he did not survive. Andrew was known personally by many of the crew and his loss was felt across the whole town. My thoughts are with his family and friends at what I’m sure is still a very difficult time for them."

The RNLI last awarded gallantry medals to three members of its flood rescue team for a rescue carried out in fast-flowing flood water in Devon in December 2012.

Seventeen gallantry medals have been awarded to Scarborough lifeboat volunteers. The last was in 1973, when acting coxswain Tom Rowley received a bronze medal in recognition of courage and seamanship when the lifeboat saved the ex-HDML Eun Mara An Tar and rescued the crew of four. The vessel was in difficulty with broken steering gear six miles off Scarborough in a storm force north-north-westerly wind and a rough sea.

Scarborough RNLI Inshore Lifeboat Helmsman Rudi Barman on Exercise in D Class Lifeboat on 26 July 2015.

Main photo shows (left to right) Craig Burnett, Pete Billingsley, Rudi Barman, Jason Hedges and Adam Beston (Photo by Scarborough RNLI press officer Dave Barry).

Scarborough Lifeboat Volunteer Receives RNLI Bravery Award Reviewed by Editor on 20:31:00 Rating: 5

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