Heroic rescue remembered on 50th anniversary of Silver Medal Barmouth rescue

Lifeboats News Release

Half a century on from a rescue which saw the RNLI award its first ever Silver Medals to an inshore lifeboat crew, Barmouth RNLI remembers one of the most dramatic rescues in this station’s history.

John Stockford, Colin Pugh and Dr Rob Haworth were all presented with Silver Medals for their efforts in rescuing a woman who had fallen over a cliff on 21 June 1971

Photo: RNLI

Today marks 50 years since three lifeboat crew risked their own lives to save a woman in trouble.

John Stockford, Colin Pugh and Dr Rob Haworth were all presented with Silver Medals for their efforts in rescuing a woman who had fallen over a cliff on 21 June 1971. The rescue was achieved in heavy seas breaking on the shore which swamped the inshore lifeboat but eventually the injured woman was evacuated from the site and landed to a waiting ambulance on a nearby beach. She sadly later died.

Will Stockford, followed in his dad John’s footsteps to join the Barmouth crew and is currently helm of Aberdovey RNLI lifeboat. His dad sadly passed away in 1992 and Will says the anniversary is a time to reflect on the tremendous bravery of all three men.

The dad of two, who joined the RNLI in 2003 says:

‘On the 50th anniversary of one of the most notorious rescues in Barmouth’s history, we’ll all be remembering the amazing courage and bravery of my dad and the other two volunteer crew members. With Father’s Day falling so close to the day of the rescue, I spent yesterday reflecting on what must have been going through my dad’s mind, having his own family and children at home, but putting himself at risk to help save lives.'

Of the three crew, only Dr Rob Haworth is still alive today to mark the anniversary which also saw the crew receive The Ralph Glister Award for the most meritorious service of the year performed by the crew of an inshore lifeboat.

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For more information please contact Danielle Rush, RNLI media manager in Wales and the North West on 07786 668829 or the RNLI Press Office on 01202 336789.

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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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