A YEAR to the day he bravely saved another man’s life, St Abbs RNLI crew member Darren Crowe was rewarded for his heroics by being presented with a Bronze Medal for Gallantry last week.
On June 6 last year, Darren Crowe swam into a narrow cave off the Scottish coast and hauled Simon Haston to safety. Simon had fallen off the rocks above while he was sea fishing at St Abbs.
The presentation was made at an annual RNLI awards ceremony sponsored in Perth where the audience watched an emotional six-minute long video in which Simon said, “I am massively grateful. I owe the RNLI my life and I have never had to say that about anyone before. I do owe them my life.
“I know I would have died if they had not come and got me. I would have died.”
Darren, 40, admitted that he himself was on the edge of his physical and mental limits in rescuing Simon.
He said: “When I grabbed hold of him I could tell he was all cut up, he was shaking like a leaf, he was terrified.
‘The tide was filling in and I knew the cave submerged at high water. It was a total nightmare.
“I am quite a good swimmer but I was on the very limit that day.
“I did have fear that day and that is the only time I have had fear at sea.’
“I would do it again, that is part of the job. But it is only the crew you have around you to rely on in a job like that.’
Darren was presented with his medal by Admiral Lord Boyce, chairman of the RNLI.
Paul Jennings, the RNLI’s Divisional Inspector for Scotland, told the audience, ‘Darren showed selfless courage, determination and without regard for his own safety in carrying out this rescue.’
The Bronze Medal was introduced in 1917. Darren’s award is the fourth Bronze medal in Scotland since 2006.