29 March 2012
Jason Dunlop with the crew of the Penarth RNLI Lifeboat
Students’ Union Chief Executive and Penarth RNLI volunteer crew member Jason Dunlop has been honoured with a bravery award for his role in the difficult rescue of a yachtsman in south Wales.
In May 2011, Jason was helmsman of the Penarth RNLI Lifeboat crew that rescued the yachtsman who was stranded in storm-force seven winds and 2.5M swells off Lavernock Point in the Vale of Glamorgan.
Jason took the decision to pull the lifeboat up alongside the 7M yacht, which was listing badly and in danger of capsizing.
Another volunteer crew member Aran Pitter jumped on board the yacht and dropped the sails while Jason transferred a crew member from the Barry Dock all-weather RNLI lifeboat - which also attended the rescue - onto the yacht.
The Barry Dock lifeboat escorted the stricken yacht back to the safety of Barry harbour while the Penarth lifeboat took shelter in Cardiff barrage lock because of deteriorating weather conditions.
Following their efforts, Jason and Aran are to be presented with Royal National Lifeboat Institute (RNLI) certificates – a thanks inscribed on vellum. The award has been presented only twice in Wales and the west of England in more than a decade.
Penarth volunteer crew Karl Lawrence and Jennifer Payne will each receive Vellum Service Certificates and Barry Dock RNLI volunteer Martin Bowmer is to receive a letter of appreciation from RNLI Chief Executive Paul Boissier. A collective letter of appreciation by RNLI Operations Director Michael Vlasto will be presented to five crew members at Barry Dock.
Speaking about the award, Jason said: “We don’t do these things to get awards, we do them to try and make a difference in terms of saving life at sea. But it’s an honour and a privilege for the team, as the RNLI don’t award many of these awards. It’s also recognition for our stations, as lifeboats don’t launch on their own - there’s a shore effort as well. That is highlighted by the fact that everyone stayed there on the night to make sure we came home safe.”