Home > 250th Anniversary Stories > Relentless and admirable determination to try until the very last

Relentless and admirable determination to try until the very last

Year 1954

Read by Tom Hart Dyke – Supporter, Royal Humane Society

Please share...
Share on InstagramShare on LinkedIn
Play Video

Shemmedi, Mehmet Mustafa, (19), Porter

Stanhope Gold Medal 1954

In the sea, off Famagusta saved Zenon Christofi (42), Night Guard and attempted to save one woman who died later and two other persons who were found to be dead.

On 25th May, 1953, a Fair was being held in the town. A boat, with a capacity of 16 went out from the Fair with 19 persons on board. About 100 yards out it struck a reef and went down. Those on board were drowned or in danger of drowning. The alarm was given by the Police and Shemmedi entered the water and swam out. It was then 10 p.m. The night was clear with no moon, the sea was choppy and there was a strong wind. After a trying swim out to sea Shemmedi secured an exhausted woman and took her to a fishing boat. He then continued his search for the missing and secured two persons struggling in the sea. One, a man, caught Shemmedi by the leg and compelled the would- be-salvor to release his grasp. Shemmedi then dived again and secured the man who had forced him to let go, getting the man into a boat. The salvor then dived again and searched for the woman but she was dead. Then, being exhausted, he swam ashore.

When on shore, he was told that 2-3 other persons were still unaccounted for. After removing his dripping clothes he swam out to sea to attempt to complete the rescue. On arrival at the wrecked boat he dived again and found a man trapped by his trousers to the engine of the boat. With difficulty Shemmedi released the man who was, however, dead.

Shemmedi was in the water for three hours and, apart from the person actually saved his inspiration resulted to some extent in the saving of 16 out of the 19 persons who went down with the launch.

Please share...
Share on InstagramShare on LinkedIn

More about the Royal Humane Society