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Last Updated: Thursday, 6 April 2006, 11:30 GMT 12:30 UK
Fisherman rescue lifeboat award

Three members of an inshore lifeboat crew are to be recognised for braving a storm to save the life of a fisherman who was swept overboard.

Helmsman David Jones and crew members Christopher and Rachel Thomas, from Port Talbot, will receive RNLI awards.

They worked in driving rain and near gale-force winds to pluck Lyndon Ward from the water and rescue his friend from their stricken powerboat.

The RNLI said had it not been for their actions Mr Ward would have died.

The crew launched shortly before 1000 GMT on 10 January following a 999 call to the coastguard from the powerboat Holly, which was in Port Talbot's deep water harbour.

When the crew reached the vessel they spotted Mr Ward in the water.

This was a highly effective service which resulted in the saving of Mr Ward's life
Rob Atkinson, RNLI

Mr Thomas jumped into the sea and dived under the water to locate him.

With the help of Mrs Thomas, a nurse, he was able to drag the fisherman, who needed urgent medical attention, onto the lifeboat.

Mrs Thomas administered first aid until Mr Ward was airlifted to hospital along with his friend.

RNLI deputy divisional inspector Rob Atkinson said: "Helmsman David Jones demonstrated both courage and great skill in safely manoeuvring the lifeboat through the large breaking seas.

"He remained calm under pressure, made a number of excellent decisions and led his crew in an exemplary fashion.

"Crewmember Chris Thomas showed great courage and physical strength by entering the water, swimming to and getting underneath the vessel to recover Mr Ward.

"Rachel Thomas' medical knowledge played an important part in this service.

"This was a highly effective service which resulted in the saving of Mr Ward's life."

Fishermen airlifted to hospital
10 Jan 06 |  South West Wales

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