On 30th September the "10th Pride of Britain Awards" will be held. Now I admire the sentiment of these awards and only have admiration for the heroic deeds of some of the people who receives the awards, but it's not a programme I normally watch. Apart from anything I'm a real Jessie and cry at the teeniest bit of sentimentality - I would spend the whole evening in tears.
BUT...this year is different.
This year I will be watching. Avidly.
This year, before the ceremony is televised (on 1st August) I will be watching GMTV. In fact...
tomorrow morning between 7.00 and 9.00am I will be watching GMTV.
These 7 blokes in yellow rubber are why.
Who are they?
Mark Criddle COXSWAIN
Roger Good 2ND COXSWAIN
Matt Tyler MECHANIC
Alex Rowe DOCTOR
John Ashford PARAMEDIC
Nigel Coulton CREW
Darrell Farley CREW
This is the crew of the Torbay Lifeboat. They are based in Brixham and the coxswain is the hubbie of my sister's BF.
No! Don't glaze over. This is serious.
To get to the point...
...on 13th January this year, in treacherous conditions, Mark and his crew saved the lives of 8 men from the ship, the Ice Prince. The full story can be found here and it makes scary reading. As this photo (taken on the night) shows things were pretty horrendous. These lifeboats are ENORMOUS but yet looked tiny next to the listing cargo ship.
This is the state of the Ice Prince the next day, once the weather had calmed down. Luckily all 20 crew were saved, not so the cargo of timber which washed up on the beaches of Sussex and Kent.
Tomorrow Mark and the crew will be on GMTV telling their story and asking for your votes to crown them the "999 Heroes of 2008".
Earlier in the year the men received RNLI awards for gallantry from Camilla P-B. Mark received a Silver Medal and the crew received "vellums" (the Thanks of the Institution inscribed on vellum) for saving the lives of 8 men on the Ice Prince.
It's hard to choose between the RNLI and the other emergency services, particularly when I'm in the Midlands and miles from the sea,
So please, please, please watch GMTV tomorrow and vote for them. They deserve so much recognition for all they do.