Awards for brave Islay lifeboat crew

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A SEVERE storm off Islay which nearly cost a sailor his life was relived when the coxswain and Islay lifeboat crew were recognised by the RNLI chairman.

Coxswain David MacLellan, 46, was awarded the RNLI Bronze Medal for Gallantry – one of the charity’s highest accolades – for his display of great skill and seamanship in an extremely arduous service, lasting 18 hours on February 16 last year.

The presentation was made in front of more than 120 people at Bowmore Village Hall, Islay, on Saturday March 25 .

The RNLI’s chief executive Paul Boissier, who made the presentation, said: ‘The medal is awarded in recognition of your personal courage, your leadership and remarkable seamanship on that night.
‘You fully deserve this medal and I know you will wear it with enormous pride for years to come.’

He added that being an RNLI crewman was not an easy job, calling volunteers out at all hours of the day and night, to deal with the elements at their most beautiful and also at their most savage.

David, who has been with the charity since 1990, said: ‘I might have been the one making the decisions and helming the boat, but this was undoubtedly a fantastic team effort. We have a good team on Islay with the crew, operations and fundraisers.

‘The fundraisers do a fantastic job every year to provide the best possible boat and equipment.’

His four crew members were also recognised for their part in the rescue.
Mechanic David McArthur, 42, navigator Thomas Coope, 31, crew members Duncan MacGillivray, 32, and Peter Thomson, 38, and Captain Martin Porter, 62, of the Deep Energy pipelay vessel received framed letters of thanks from the RNLI chairman.