Cardigan RNLI crew member receives Queens Commendation for Valuable Service

Lifeboats News Release

A Royal Navy sailor from Cardigan, Able Seaman Sarah Griffiths has received a Queen’s Commendation for Valuable Services for her work in saving lives during search and rescue operations in the Mediterranean Sea.

Leading Seaman Sarah Griffiths receiving the Queen's Commendation for Valuable Service
Leading Seaman Sarah Griffiths receiving the Queen's Commendation for Valuable Service

Sarah, who has been in the Royal Navy for the past eight years, joined HMS Enterprise during the ship’s on-going involvement in the UK’s contribution to the European Union’s mission in 2016 to disrupt and deter human trafficking in the Med.

During her deployment Sarah was involved in a dramatic rescue operation involving around 50 people.

Her citation read: “Sarah has shown significant courage and maturity as the coxswain of the small boat carried by HMS Enterprise during rescue events.

During arduous and occasionally harrowing operations, she spent up to 13 hours a day in the boat, with temperatures frequently exceeding 30 degrees centigrade.

During a short deployment in response to a sinking vessel, Sarah arrived at the scene well ahead of HMS Enterprise. Independently assessing the scene and establishing priorities, she manoeuvred to distribute lifesaving equipment to around 50 people in the water, picking up the most vulnerable.

That only one person lost their life is no small part down to her quick wits and focused professionalism. Her outstanding boat driving skills, focus and awareness has been vital in ensuring safe control of the situation and efficient transfer of survivors to HMS Enterprise.

Quick to volunteer and enthusiastic about mentoring others, she unfailingly set an excellent example and her exceptional performance in support of operations is thoroughly worthy of the highest recognition."

Sarah has since been promoted to Leading Seaman and is currently serving aboard Type-23 frigate HMS Montrose

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The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates over 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and, in a normal year, more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.

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