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The Flamborough Lifeboats

Will and Fanny Kirby Jason Logg

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Rescue of a boy over the cliff - 15th May 1951

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July 1998
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August 1987
Bronze Medal &
Thanks on Vellum
September 1971
Silver Medal &
Thanks on Vellum
March 1937
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November 1895

On the afternoon of the 15th May 1951 the lifeboat was requested to launch after a report had been received that a boy had fallen into the sea. The lifeboat 'Howard D' launched at 4.00pm in heavy rain and an ebbing tide. A search was conducted between the station and the Head End, close in, along the 150 feet high cliffs. After 15 minutes the boy was located on a rock ledge. A heavy swell, pounding against the cliff base had swept him onto the ledge, but he was still alive.

Due to the rocks and heavy swell, the lifeboat could only get within 80 yards of him. The Second Coxswain Albert E. Duke immediately volunteered to swim out to the casualty with a rope. He soon got into difficulties, as he was not a strong swimmer and had to be recovered to the lifeboat. The motor mechanic Edward A. Slaughter then volunteered, as he was a stronger swimmer. The rope was attached and he swam out to a flat-topped rock (known locally as a scar), which was within 20 yards of the casualty. From here he pulled across the breeches buoy, coiling the rope into it. He then waded, shoulder high, carrying the end of the rope to the ledge where the casualty lay. He assessed the casualty's injuries and found them to be so severe, in great pain and weak through blood loss, he decided it would be impossible to recover him by breeches buoy to the lifeboat.

Motor mechanic Slaughter relayed this information back to the Coxswain, who radioed for an ambulance and doctor to be despatched to the cliff top. With help of D. Woodhouse, two boys and A. Major who had climbed down, a stretcher was lowered down the cliff. Mr. J. Waines from the Flamborough Rocket Life Saving Company had also been lowered down the cliff. The pair strapped the casualty into the stretcher and it was hauled back up. Mr Waines accompanied it on the journey, guiding it over obstructions along the way until both were back on the cliff top.

The bronze medal was awarded by the Royal National Lifeboat Institution to motor mechanic Edward A. Slaughter. The Institutions Thanks inscribed on vellum was awarded to Second Coxswain Albert E. Duke for their resourcefulness and bravery in this rescue. Later Edward E. Slaughter was selected to receive Mrs. Porter's award. The award worth £10, was given by Mrs. Porter of Felixstowe annually, for the bravest deed of the year by a lifeboat crew.

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