HELPING to save a man’s life led to a Chief Coastguard’s Commendation for Meritorious Service for a Newhaven Coastguard Rescue Officer.
Ian Deakin was part of a rescue team at Splash Point, Seaford, on June 8 last year when a teenager was reported face down in the water during high winds and heavy swell.
Newhaven Lifeboat was unable to help due to the conditions and a Coastguard helicopter was still five minutes away.
Ian swam 25 to 30 metres to the last known location of the teenager and tried to find him.
After being battered by large waves for several minutes, Ian was exhausted and about to signal to his line tender to recover him when he felt the casualty’s hand and was able to grab him.
Coastguards Graham Easton and Peter Leonard started resuscitation, which continued for 45 minutes while paramedics worked on the casualty.
Ian ingested sea water and was taken to hospital.
The award reads: “Deputy station officer Ian Deakin showed calculated courage, and confidence in his equipment, training and in his team, in entering the water to locate and recover the casualty who was not breathing when he was brought ashore. Ian’s outstanding actions saved the man’s life and were in the finest traditions of Her Majesty’s Coastguard.”
Ian said: “I would never have been able to go in the water without knowing I had my team backing me up.”
The same day Ian was one of 19 Coastguard rescue officers from Birling Gap, Newhaven, Shoreham and Littlehampton Coastguard Rescue teams presented with the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal for Service in the Coastguard Rescue Service. Officers Trevor Cutler, Peter Leonard, Mark Kite, Karl Davenport, Gary Harding, Andrew Hall, Mick Hunter, Louise Roberts, Richard Morris, Paul Gill, Richard Andrews, Laurence Pettitt, Don Ellis, Alan Godwin, Brian Sykes, Clive Smith, Peter Wojciechowskyj and Peter Still and Sector Manager Graham Easton were awarded their medals by Coastal Safety Manager Iain Campbell at a presentation night in Newhaven.