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Naval resuscitations

Year 1804, M.A. Gerrard

Read by Chris Sharwood-Smith – Life Governor, Royal Humane Society

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February 21, 1804

Addressed to the Managers, Plymouth Dock

Admiral Cloys submits the enclosed, to be laid before the Royal Humane Society. — It is respectfully suggested to the Gentlemen, that Peter Quibilingo would feel highly compensated by the Society’s adjudging him an Honorary Medal, or some such interesting mark of public approbation, for his very meritorious services.

To Admiral Sir John Cloys, K.B. Commander in Chief, and V.P. of the Royal Humane Society Sir,

The truly meritorious conduct of P. Quibilingo, who, with others, on the 19th of January, observing a vessel drifting in Mill Bay, went out of the barracks, and saved the lives of eight men out of nine. — The vessel being at the mercy of the waves, was at length dashed on the rocks, and a heavy sea beating in, rendered it almost impossible to save the lives of the unfortunate men on board. They however succeeded, by getting on the precipices where they were, every moment in danger of being washed off by the surf ; by which means W. Harris was washed overboard and disappeared ; when the said Quibilingo, after combatting with a tremendous sea, succeeded in bringing him up, from under the keel, apparently dead ; and by this bold enterprise saved his life.

In so doing, he received so many bruises through the violence of the surf dashing him against the rocks, that the Divisional Surgeon found it expedient to send him to the Royal Naval Hospital, where he still remains. — I therefore Sir, after having had the business thoroughly investigated, and the facts, as I have stated them, confirmed by the evidence of the Corporal, and another of the men that I had on-shore for the purpose of hearing their account of the wreck, take the liberty of recommending this brave fellow, and his comrades, to your consideration, as deserving the benevolence of the Humane Society, of which, I am given to understand, you are a distinguished Member ; and I honour to be,

You most respectful obedient servant.

M.A. Gerrard

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