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Diver attempts to save colleague trapped underwater

Year 1907

Read by Rose Eva – Supporter, Royal Humane Society

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About 7.30 p.m. on the 12th July, 1907, Walter Trapnell, a shipwright diver, had gone down to the wreck of Torpedo Boat No.99 which had sunk at sea about four and a half miles E.S.E. from Berry Head, when his breast-rope and air-pipe became foul of some part of the wreck.

In order to effect his release Sydney Leverett went down, and after three hours work under water succeeded in liberating Trapnell and bringing him to the surface after being five hours under, but he died twenty-four hours later.

Although Leverett went down as part of his duty, there was extreme risk incurred, the depth being 25 fathoms, the state of the tide, the darkness of the night, the short supply of air, and the possibility of fouling some part of the wreck.

For his bravery that day, Sydney Leverett was awarded the Royal Humane Society’s Silver Medal.

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