RNLI Exmouth crew volunteer awarded Lady Swaythling Trophy
Helmsman Roger Jackson was presented with The Lady Swaythling Trophy at the Shipwrecked Mariners' Society's annual Skill and Gallantry Awards, which recognise the UK's unsung heroes who risk their lives in dangerous sea and air rescues, on October 2.
This award follows the presentation of Roger's RNLI bronze medal for Gallantry in May for the same rescue, which took place on October 23, 2011. Roger's fellow crew volunteers Mark Champion and Andy Williams received the thanks of the Institution on Vellum during a 'thank you' meal, cooked by Roger at the boathouse in July.
Roger's second award, this time granted by an outside body, demonstrates the recognition of the skill and gallantry that RNLI crew volunteers display every day, throughout the UK.
Roger considers himself 'very lucky' to still be able to serve as volunteer crew member after severely damaging his legs in a paragliding accident just over 10 years ago. With a chance of amputation of both legs and critically ill for more than two years, he needed a goal to focus on. Roger's was to get back on the lifeboat crew. Over a decade later, he comments:
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'It's a great team here. Without the support of the crew and the RNLI's staff after my accident, I would not have had the determination to get back on the lifeboat. And so to have carried out a rescue like that, after everything, makes me very proud.'
Roger was presented with his award by Admiral Sir Peter Abbott at the awards in London on Tuesday 2 October. The previous afternoon, Roger attended the funeral of Geoff Ingram, a former RNLI crew volunteer of 18 years. Geoff's fishing trawler Sarah Jayne capsized off Berry Head on 11 September, with his body lost at sea.
Speaking of attending the Shipwrecked Fishermen and Mariners' Society award ceremony, Roger said:
'The Society looks after the families of fishermen and mariners in need after a disaster loss. To attend the charity's award ceremony the day after experiencing the funeral of a well-respected fisherman in our community, brings a lot of meaning behind the award for me.'