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March 14, 2014

By hovercraft.org

Rescue Hovercraft Award

Rescue Hovercraft Award

SOUTHEND’S RNLI hovercraft crew has been given an award for a daring rescue on a cold, dark winter night.

Rescue Hovercraft Award – Three members of the hovercraft crew were presented with a framed letter of thanks from RNLI headquarters, at the lifeboat station’s annual dinner at the Cliffs Pavilion, Westcliff.

Rescue Hovercraft Award

Rescue Hovercraft Award

Hovercraft commander Michael Whistler, pilot Dave Brown and crew member Adam Manning rescued three people, a woman who had jumped off Southend Pier, and two others who had dived in to help her.

The rescue, in December 2012, was carried out in near darkness and high winds and was described as a difficult operation.

Mr Whistler said: “A chap had gone in to help the lady and another person went in as well, so there were three people in the water. It was getting dark and there were lots of life rings in the water which people had thrown in. Mr Whistler said his crew were glad to receive the award, adding: “It was very pleasing. The whole crew did very well that night, including the pilot.

“One person was pulled out of the water by a lifeboat crew member on the pier, having made it to the pier slipway. The hovercraft crew searched with spotlights, located the other two casualties together, picking them up and making best speed back to the inshore boathouse, where they were met by awaiting paramedics and taken to hospital, suffering from hypothermia.”

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