A GROUP of businesses in the city have come together to say thank you to a group of Royal Marines who tried to save a man’s life.
As reported, one of the four men who jumped into the water at The Hard last month, 21-year-old Harry Twells, had his wallet stolen while trying to rescue 63-year-old Chris Jackson.
As a gift to the four, and to show the city’s true sense of community spirit, a number of businesses have joined up with The News to say thank you to Mne Twells and his colleagues.
Tiger Tiger, All About Tea, Portsmouth Historic Dockyard and Southsea Gallery have all pledged gifts for the men.
Portsmouth’s Lord Mayor, Councillor Steven Wylie, and city council leader Donna Jones have also written to them to thank them for their heroic efforts.
Dan Swan, general manager of Tiger Tiger, said: ‘It would be our pleasure to show Mne Twells and his colleagues what Portsmouth really offers servicemen and women who constantly show the kind of selfless bravery they did during their last visit.
‘We would like to invite them to enjoy dinner in our restaurant, tickets to our Jongleurs comedy night and a VIP booth with drinks so that they can experience the kind of treatment they deserve.’
Andrew Gadsden, who has served in the Royal Navy, now runs his own tea factory in Middle Street, Southsea.
He has committed to giving each of the men 1,000 Portsmouth Tea tea bags and a cream tea as a gesture of goodwill.
‘I saw the story in The News when it came out and like everybody else, I was horrified,’ he said.
‘Portsmouth is full of kind, helpful and generous people. The people are one of the reasons why I love living here.
‘When something like this happens, it spoils it for everybody so I thought it was really important to make a gesture like this. That sort of event is not representative of the city at all.’
Paul Windsor, owner of Southsea Gallery in Albert Road, said he was ‘delighted’ to be giving a piece of nautical-themed artwork over to Mne Twells.
‘I think it is important as an independent business that we can get behind these things,’ he said.
Asked what he thought of the response, Mne Twells said: ‘I think we are all delighted by this. I can’t speak for my colleagues but I am really happy.
‘We did not expect this sort of reaction. I don’t have a negative perception of Portsmouth at all.’
Last month, the marines jumped in the sea when they saw Mr Jackson, a fisherman from Gosport, had been taken ill on his boat. They tried to keep the 63-year-old alive by performing CPR but Mr Jackson died later that night from a heart attack.