Hayling Island’s lifeboat heroes awarded for bravery in 1993

A pair of Hayling Island lifeboatmen had won top bravery medals after risking their lives to rescue a group of teenagers from a stricken yacht in mountainous seas.

Friday, 25th January 2019, 10:56 am
Updated Thursday, 7th February 2019, 7:04 pm
Hayling Island's heroes Rod James, left, and Frank Dunster.

Rod James, 40, and Frank Dunster, 41, battled with 20ft waves to reach 17 people on a stricken 75ft yacht which was being hurled about in gale-force winds. The lifeboatmen’s actions won them the Royal National Lifeboat Institution’s second highest award for bravery, the silver medal. 

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Mr James, deputy head of The Hayling School, was the first inshore lifeboat helmsman to win two silver medals – the first was for a rescue in 1981. 

He said: ‘At one stage I did think the lifeboat was going to go bow over stern. But the priority was to rescue the crew.’