Britannia Royal Naval College Cadets Praised for Rescue on Water

Britannia Royal Naval College Cadets Praised for Rescue on Water

Sub Lieutenant (SLt) Richard Burns and Midshipman (Mid) Edward Pearson were among thousands of sailors taking part in the race around the Island of Wight. They were part of the crew racing in the Catamaran ‘Monocle’, owned by SLt Burns’ uncle, Mr Noel Cockle.

Two hours into the 50 nautical mile race with the wind picking up, the crew of the Monocle spotted the Catamaran ‘Aqua Suilis’ capsized just 200 yards away. The crew of eight were in the water holding onto the boat.

Mid Pearson, aged 20, from Horrabridge, said:

“When I saw the yacht capsize, I knew that we were in the best place to assist. It was a natural thing to do.”

Forfeiting their own place in the race, the Monocle sent out a Mayday call, turned their engine on and headed to the rescue, getting as close to Aqual Suilis as possible. The RNLI also arrived at the scene and pulled everyone out of the water. Monocle took six of the crew on board, while the remaining two stayed in the lifeboat as one of them needed first aid.

SLt Burns said:

“When we took the sailors onboard, we were able to get them changed and warmed up fast enough to prevent the very real threat of hypothermia. This was part of what we had learned during our training on Dartmoor.”

After making the rescued crew comfortable, Monocle and the lifeboat headed in to Yarmouth where the owners of Aqua Suilis were able to deal with salvage and insurance issues. Monocle then took two of the families back to Gosport where they had left their cars.

Karen Laurie, the owner of the Aqua Suilis, said:

“The two young Officer Cadets acted professionally and with great kindness to all of our crew, who they helped rescue, feed and return to Gosport later that day. We will be eternally grateful to them and their family for their help and support.

“Four of our crew were young boys of 14 and 16 years old and having the support from the crew of Monocle has hopefully minimised the trauma of the incident for our young lads. The Officer Cadets are a credit to their profession.”

Having already completed their initial officer training, Sub Lt Burns and Mid Pearson are currently undergoing their Initial Warfare Officers Foundation course at BRNC. They are learning specialist skills in seamanship and navigation. Once fully qualified they will become Officers of the Watch on the bridge and be able to handle the ship in all sea states and conditions.

Naval Today Staff, July 31, 2012; Image: Royal Navy