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Captain Coffin dives into the water full clothed to save man overboard

Year 1790

Read by Rob Gurney – Life Governor and Liaison Officer, Royal Humane Society

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Captain Isaac Coffin RN, HMS Alligator

In 1790, Captain Coffin was appointed to the Alligator, of 28 guns.

At this latter period, while lying at the Nore, the wind blowing strong, a man fell overboard; Captain Coffin, impelled by a generous and disinterested spirit of humanity, leaped in after him, and was so fortunate as to rescue a fellow being from the merciless deep. His exertions on this occasion, unfortunately produced a severe rupture; the effects of which frequently recall to his recollection the noble act by which they were occasioned.

Both he and Mr Gibson, the Alligator’s surgeon, were awarded RHS Silver Medals at the General Court of 1790.

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