Belfast Telegraph

Friday 28 November 2014

RNLI mechanic awarded for bravery

Anthony Chambers will be awarded the RNLI's Bronze medal for Gallantry
Anthony Chambers will be awarded the RNLI's Bronze medal for Gallantry

An RNLI lifeboat mechanic in Portrush is to receive an award for gallantry.

Anthony Chambers, 50, who helped rescue two teenage boys trapped by the rising tide in a cliff cave near Castlerock Strand last August, will be presented with a bronze medal for gallantry at a charity event in London on Thursday by Prince Michael of Kent.

Mr Chambers said he felt honoured. He said: "Although I am receiving this award I want to acknowledge the rest of the Portrush lifeboat crew and other emergency services that responded that day.

"Everyone worked together and we had a happy outcome for the two families concerned."

The sea conditions and rising tide hampered attempts to reach the boys, aged 14. Mr Chambers, crew member on the all-weather lifeboat, volunteered to swim into the cave as he believed he could reach the boys, who were trapped right at the back of the cave chest-deep in water.

Fighting against the elements in almost total darkness, he was smashed against the cave wall before reaching the boys for the first time.

Rescuing them one at a time, it took him 30 minutes to complete the difficult and treacherous return swim twice with the rising tide against him.

Martyn Smith, RNLI divisional inspector for Ireland, said: "We are all very proud of Anthony and he is very deserving of this honour.

"Our lifeboat crew are ordinary people doing extraordinary things.

"Lifeboat volunteers train for every type of rescue and this was a very challenging one where every second counted."

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