Rescue of four men in capsized vessel near Exmouth features in new book nine years on.

PUBLISHED: 16:00 12 June 2020

Deputy 2nd coxswain Roger Jackson with a copy oif �Surviving the Storm� and his RNLI Bronze Medal for Gallantry. Picture: John Thorogood/RNLI

Deputy 2nd coxswain Roger Jackson with a copy oif �Surviving the Storm� and his RNLI Bronze Medal for Gallantry. Picture: John Thorogood/RNLI

John Thorogood

A new book describing true accounts of individual rescues by RNLI volunteers features one by an Exmouth hero who played a part in the rescue of four men nine years ago.

The book, Surviving the Storm, brings together several first-hand accounts of rescues at sea.

One such account is that given by RNLI deputy 2nd coxswain Roger Jackson, who has served at Exmouth Lifeboat Station since 1998.

His blow by blow account in the chapter ‘Reason to Recover’ is about a rescue of four men whose boat had capsized in stormy conditions off the Exmouth coast in October 2011.

It tells of how he and his two fellow crewmen, Mark Champion and Andy Williams, put themselves at significant risk as they rescued the casualties one by one in conditions that necessitated their return to the scene of the incident four times.

All crewmen received official recognition of their bravery, and Roger was awarded the RNLI Bronze Medal for Gallantry.

As the title of the chapter suggests, Roger’s story goes much further.

It tells of the role his being part of the RNLI family played in his recovery from a serious accident in 2002 in which he risked losing both legs.

It focuses on his realisation of that risk, how he might never walk or run again, or ever go back on a lifeboat.

Roger speaks of his determination, despite eighteen major operations, countless skin grafts and years of physiotherapy, to get back into RNLI service and prove the doctors wrong.

Roger said: “I’m really pleased to be part of this amazing book and the insights it gives of the risks our RNLI volunteers take each time they launch a lifeboat.

“I hope my story goes some way to inspire others, especially during the current difficult times, where many find themselves suffering tragic circumstances, to always have a goal, look to the future, aim high and never give up.“

Surviving the Storm, with a foreword written by the president of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution, HRH The Duke of Kent, is available online from bookshops.

A royalty from each sale will be paid in support of the RNLI.


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