Two Tresco Coastguards commended for long service
Two Tresco Coastguards received long-service medals yesterday.
At the opening of the new Coastguard station at the Porthmellon Business Park, Nick Shiles and Paul Christopher were awarded for 20 years' service.
Nick, Tresco's Station officer, told This is Scilly: "It just makes me realise how long I've been doing this! Before you get there, you don't realise how much time goes by.
"It's a job that someone needs to do. We're there to help people in trouble and do what we can."
Asked about his most memorable callout, he said: "Probably the capsized boat from Bryher at the north end of Tresco last year. There were four people in the water. The lifeboat picked up one, three managed to get ashore and all survived, just.
"That was probably the one that got the adrenaline going. A lot of what we do is what we call 'lift and shift', assist West Country Ambulance, land a helicopter somewhere and stretcher people, send them off to Truro."
Paul Christopher said of his medal, presented by Senior Coastal Operations Officer Richard Williams: "I'm thrilled to get it, I didn't realise I'd been there that long!"
He also named the capsized boat last August as one of his most memorable incidents. Four people were knocked overboard when their vessel was swamped by a huge wave. The rescue involved a Coastguard helicopter, St Mary’s lifeboat and passenger boat Osprey.
"They were four very lucky people to be alive really," said Paul. "It could have been disastrous. It's rewarding when you can help people like that, that's why we do it."
The St Mary’s Coastguard Rescue Team has 12 members who are volunteers based within the local community. Tresco, St Agnes and St Martins each have eight members, with Tresco also looking after Bryher.