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Captain dives into shark infested waters to save a man

Year 1883

Read by Ollie Stewart – Supporter, Royal Humane Society

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Simpson, William, Captain of the Foretop, R.N.

Stanhope Gold Medal 1883.

At 7.45 p.m., on the 28th January, 1883, H.M. Schooner, Harrier, was anchored in Pomony Harbour, Johanna Island, when William Pond fell overboard.

The night was pitch dark with a chopping sea, and the force of the wind was so strong as to render the noise of the splash almost inaudible to those on board.

Simpson, on looking over the side, heard a gurgling sound, and surmising that a man had fallen overboard called away the lifeboat’s crew, and then jumped into the sea; he found the man and supported him above water for some time until hauled on board.

The danger incurred appears to have been very great, as the coast here abounds with sharks, a large one having risen to the surface alongside the ship the previous day. There was also great danger in being carried towards the adjacent reefs and being dashed against them.

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