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Seaman saved from drowning and being crushed by ship

Year 1927

Read by Sharmaine Malik – Trustee, Royal Humane Society

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Hopkins, Frank, Labourer, Newport, Mon.

At 9.20 p.m. on the 18th August, 1927, the s.s. Cambrian Baroness, ready for sea, was in the lock entrance to the dock at Newport, Mon., when J.A. Lilygreen, a seaman, in attempting to go on board slipped from the pilot ladder and fell into the lock between the ship and the quay, a distance of some 15 feet.

The ladder with a line was then let down to the water surface, and Lilygreen got hold of it, but on being hauled up he lost his hold and fell back into the lock. The vessel was now gradually closing in, and was now about 3 feet from the quay wall.

Hopkins knowing the risk, then volunteered to go down the ladder, which he did, and having caught the man they were both pulled to the top of the lock, the vessel a few seconds later closing in on the wall. When it was seen that the ship was nearing the wall one of the onlookers advised Hopkins to come up quickly and save himself, to which he replied, “I have got him now and will bring him up.” The distance from the coping to the water level was 17 feet, and the depth of water 36 feet.

Great risk was incurred not only of drowning, but of being crushed between the ship and quay. Also awarded the Albert Medal for the same act.

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