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Trawlerman saves his colleague who had been washed overboard

Year 1926

Read by Maxine Gillett – Supporter, Royal Humane Society

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Smith, Harry, Mate, Steam Drifter Sarepta.

Stanhope Gold Medal 1926

At about 4 p.m. on Sunday, the 31st October, 1926, the Steam Drifter Sarepta was returning to Lowestoft from the fishing grounds in heavy squalls and very cold weather. When some 4 miles east of the Corton Lightship, Alfred Marjoram, while cleaning the nets with others of the crew, was thrown overboard by a heavy lurch of the vessel. He was wearing heavy sea-boots and oilskins, and was soon some 300 yards astern. The engines were reversed and the boat brought round, a lifebuoy being then thrown to him, but he was too exhausted to make use of it.

Seeing this, Harry Smith, the mate, having thrown off his oilskins and sea- boots, jumped overboard and reached Marjoram as he was sinking. A line with lifebuoy attached was then thrown from the vessel, and Smith, getting his arm over the line, they were hauled alongside and with difficulty got on board, both men being washed under the vessel’s quarter, Marjoram being now unconscious and Smith exhausted and bruised.

During this time the boat was drifting to leeward, and had the line attached to the lifebuoy broken by a sudden strain caused by the rolling of the boat, both men must have been drowned.

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