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Valiant – but unsuccessful – rescue recognised

Year 1875

Read by Martin Constable – Supporter, Royal Humane Society

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Rogers F.H., Sub-Lieutenant, R.N.

Stanhope Gold Medal 1875.

On the 26th of November, 1874, at 9.15 a.m., a cry of man overboard was heard, the ship was hove-to with mainyard aback, & etc., a lifeboat was sent away in a very rough sea.

The lifeboat was pulled in the direction where it was thought the man would be. When the boat got near to pick him up, he cried out that there was a man’s cap to leeward and that we must endeavour to pick him up first.

We pulled past Mr. Rogers, Sub-Lieut of H.M.S. Raleigh, with great reluctance, as it was thought that in such a rough sea he would be in great danger. The man who had fallen overboard was not seen, although his cap was, as Mr. Rogers stated, to leeward; but after some hard pulling, and a quarter of an hour had elapsed, we pulled back to Mr. Rogers, who had been swimming bravely and waiting his time.

After a tedious pull of nearly three quarters of an hour Mr. Rogers was put on board the Raleigh, considerably fatigued after his gallant attempt to save life. It appeared afterwards that a blue-jacket had fallen off the cross-jack or mizzen-topsail-yard arm of the Raleigh, who was just on the lee bow, and that Sub-Lieut Rogers had gallantly jumped after him.

The man was supposed to have struck an upper half-port in his fall, and had not this occurred the chances are that Mr. Rogers gallant efforts would have been successful.

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