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Man attempts to save child that fell overboard and loses life in the attempt

Year 1930

Read by Shane Smith – Supporter, Royal Humane Society

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Martin C.F., Clerk of the Ship, S.S. Vita.

Posthumous award

About 10.30 a.m. on the 11th August, 1930, a child fell overboard from the British India Steam Navigation Co. s.s. Vita then on voyage from Bombay to Basra.

When he realised that the child was in the water, Mr. Martin, Clerk of the ship, went over after him without giving warning to anyone. A cook gave the alarm on seeing a man in the water and four lifebuoys were thrown in; the vessel was turned short round and hands were sent aloft and a boat held in readiness for lowering. The vessel was back on the position of the buoys in about nine minutes from the time of the alarm, but the child’s body was not sighted till 40 minutes later and a boat lowered, but the swell was too heavy for the boat to be of any use, and the ship was manoeuvred alongside the body, which was secured with life lines.

Artificial respiration was tried for over an hour with no effect. Mr. Martin was not seen, and it is presumed he was struck by the propeller and sank immediately.

Posthumous Silver Medal awarded 28th October, 1930.

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