Scarborough RNLI Helmsman Rudi Barman has received a rare RNLI Bronze Medal for Gallantry for his efforts in trying to save the life of a man at sea.
The 36 year old has been awarded the RNLI’s the honour last bestowed nationally three years ago and locally in 1973.
Fellow crew members involved in the incident were also due to be recognised at the award ceremony, which took place at the Crown Spa Hotel on Wednesday.
The courage, skill and leadership of a Scarborough RNLI crewman has been recognised after he took part in a dangerous and difficult service in rough conditions earlier this year.
On February 22, Scarborough’s inshore lifeboat launched into near gale force winds, treacherous seas and darkness to rescue Andrew McGeown, who got into difficulties after going into the sea to rescue his dog. Tragically Mr McGeown did not survive.
Rudi Barman, who was in command of the lifeboat, is the first Scarborough RNLI volunteer for 42 years to receive a Gallantry Medal.
Fellow crew members Craig Burnett and Adam Beston are to receive Framed Letters of Thanks signed by the RNLI Chairman, while Dr Peter Billingsley and Jason Hedges receive Letters of Thanks from the RNLI Operations Director in recognition of their part in the same incident.
With Rudi in command and crew members Craig and Adam on board, they repeatedly manoeuvred the lifeboat towards the shore amidst confused and breaking waves and eventually managed to haul Mr McGeown onto the lifeboat, return him to shore and administer CPR. Crew members Dr Peter Billingsley and Jason Hedges – a qualified paramedic – continued to administer CPR on shore.
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 awards will be presented by the Lord Lieutenant of North Yorkshire, Barry Dodd, and the charity’s chief executive Paul Boissier.
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."