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Police officer and team lead 13 to safety in the darkness

Year 1960

Read by Nicola Ray – Supporter, Royal Humane Society

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Place-Time
In the sea, Ras Marshag, Aden. 29th March, 1960, 9 PM onwards (pitch dark)

Conditions
Weather was such that the RAF Air/Sea rescue launch did not consider it advisable to attempt rescue from seaward. The place is a rocky and jagged cliff with sea below.

Rescue
20 yards out in depth 4-10 feet according to height of the waves. Rescue by wading out between high waves using rope after descending cliff and leading survivors up unknown cliff paths. All concerned required hospital treatment.

Salvor
Robert Arthur Clarke MBE, Police Officer, Aden, in charge and the moving spirit of the rescue. Also : –
Ahmed Salem, Fireman No.13
Ahmad Mohamed
Seiyid Hasson Saleh
Sheikh Nasser Said
Hagi Nasher
Ahmed Nasser Hassani
all adults of the Police HQ,, Aden

Saved
Jooman Moobrak of Mukalla, Bo’sun of wrecked Dhow, and 8 crew, also 4 passengers.

Attempted Saved
2 members of the crew of Dhow.

Summary
Dhow “Fath-ol-Bari” was wrecked a little off shore against the rocks at the foot of the cliff below Ras Marshag. Due to high seas and strong winds the RAF rescue launch was unable to leave Aden harbour. Rescue operations were made in pitch darkness from the foot of the cliff using ropes. The Salvor, with aid of searchlight, managed to find a way down the cliff face and led his party to the marooned survivors who were being battered against the rocks by the heavy seas. All survivors were rescued by being led to the cliff top. The Salvor led his party in darkness down an unknown and untracked cliff, the risk involved being to fall from the cliff or being swept out to sea or battered against rocks. The rescue took one hour.

Witnesses
Official Report

Reported by
HE The Governor through the Colonial Office

Award
Robert Arthur Clarke received The Royal Humane Society’s Bronze Medal

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