THE COURAGE of a member of Arbroath lifeboat crew was recognised recently when Allan Russell received a Highly Commended award at a ceremony in the Apex Hotel, Dundee.
He had been shortlisted in the Emergency Services Hero category at the Evening Telegraph Hero Awards 2012 for his part in a dramatic rescue that saw teenage diabetic Stephen Lorente escape with nothing more than a small cut having been trapped on a 40-foot cliff face.
Stephen found himself in difficulty after going to retrieve a football and once his friend had raised the alarm a major rescue operation was mounted involving the lifeboat crews from Arbroath, a coastguard team and rescue helicopter from Lossiemouth.
Allan was part of the crew on board the Arbroath RNLI inshore lifeboat, ‘Duncan Ferguson’ which attended the incident. When they arrived at the scene he scrambled ashore on difficult terrain and scaled the cliffs to where he was able to assist and reassure Stephen until the rescue helicopter airlifted him to safety.
After receiving his award, Allan said: “It is of course an honour to be recognised personally and receive an award like this, but as is the case with most rescues this was a team effort.
“Not just the RNLI crews but also the other emergency services that were in attendance such as the coastguard team on the ground and the crew of the rescue helicopter.
“The main thing is that there was no serious injury, or worse, so it really was a positive outcome for everyone involved.”