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Last Updated: Thursday, 8 March 2007, 13:20 GMT
Lifeboat crew honoured for rescue
From left to right: Bud White, Simon Hodgson, Glenn Barry and Sloane Phillips
L to R: Bud White, Simon Hodgson, Glenn Barry and Sloane Phillips
A lifeboat crew and a station officer are being honoured for their roles in a rescue attempt when a swimmer got into trouble off the East Sussex coast.

Senior helmsman Simon Hodgson is being given the RNLI's fourth highest honour, the Thanks of the Institution Inscribed on Vellum [a parchment award].

He was in charge of a crew which went to the aid of a male swimmer off the beach at St Leonards on 26 November.

They pulled the man out of the water but he was pronounced dead in hospital.

The launch of the Hastings inshore lifeboat was requested by Dover Coastguard at about 1245 GMT on the day of the incident.

The swimmer, aged in his early 50s, was "in distress" about 100 yards (90m) offshore.

The lifeboat crew on the day of the incident
The crew needed all their skills to launch and then return to shore

The sea conditions were very rough, which hampered attempts to reach him.

The crew found the man face down in the water and it took all three of them to pull him onto the lifeboat.

Helmsman Hodgson, crew members Glenn Barry and Sloane Phillips, and station officer Bud White all took part in unsuccessful resuscitation attempts on the beach.

RNLI deputy divisional inspector Allen Head said: "All three crew contributed a great deal towards locating and recovering the swimmer.

"No effort was spared to save him... his death was a sad loss."

Crew members Barry and Phillips are being awarded a Vellum Service Certificate, while station officer White will receive a Letter of Appreciation.

Swimmer dies despite sea rescue
26 Nov 06 |  Southern Counties

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