Huge congratulations to three Port Isaac RNLI volunteers who have been awarded medals for gallantry, the RNLI’s highest accolade.
In a ceremony at the Barbican in London on 23 May, crew members Nicki Bradbury and Matt Main were awarded the bronze medal for gallantry, while helmsman Damien Bolton was awarded the silver medal.
All three were involved in a dramatic rescue last year when two men were spotted struggling in rough seas between Tintagel and Port Isaac. Father and son Peter and Paul Sleeman had been fishing on the cliffs when a huge wave swept Paul into the water. Peter tried to pull him in with a rope, but was also dragged into the tumultuous swell.
After 30 minutes they were seen by a walker. The coastguard was called and within seven minutes Damien, Matt and Nicki were at the scene. In hazardous conditions they managed to pull Paul Sleeman to safety. He was then airlifted to hospital and went on to make a full recovery. Sadly Peter was showing no signs of life, but the team managed to recover his body and reutrn him home to his family.
Despite their loss, the Sleeman family described the Port Isaac lifeboat crew as “truly amazing people. Without their skills, bravery and determination Paul wouldn’t be here today.”
It is the first time the silver medal for gallant rescue work has been awarded in Port Isaac since 1870. It is certainly well deserved, and we are all truly grateful for the RNLI volunteers who risk their own lives to keep us safe.