Young hero and his crew at Hornsea Inshore Rescue honoured for daring rescue
HE WAS cooking sausages, raising vital funds at a Hornsea Inshore Rescue open day, when the emergency call came.
Within seconds, the cooking utensils were down and teenager Harrison Gill was on the back of the charity's jet bike, searching for a couple stranded on a beach.
This was no training mission for Harrison, then 16, but a race against the tide to reach a couple and their two dogs, cut off at the cliffs by 12ft waves.
It was Harrison's first rescue, and one of the crew's most dangerous.
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Harrison, now 17, of Roos, along with fellow rescuers Ashley Evans, Andrea Gillyon, Neville Metcalfe, Dave Pick and Rob Stevenson, have just been awarded the Royal Humane Society testimonials on parchment for their bravery.
Harrison is believed to be one of the youngest rescue boat crew members in the country to win the award.
He said: "It was a fundraising day for Hornsea Inshore Rescue. I'd been a full-time member for a few months and done a few training missions but not a real-life rescue.
"I was helping barbecue sausages one minute and the next minute, Ashley and I were on the back of the jet bike searching for the couple.
"It was rough seas and we were getting thrown about. It was hard spotting the two people in among the vast cliffs and rough sea. Once we managed to locate them, we radioed to the boat."
The water at the cliffs was knee- deep but conditions were deteriorating and the waves were breaking over the trapped couple when they were spotted.
After taking the boat as close as they dared, several of the crew dived into the rough sea to swim to the terrified couple.
The couple were unwilling to leave the dogs, so Harrison took one dog to the jet bike and was towed to the boat where he remained to control it. Neville went for the other dog and he was towed to the boat.
The jet ski was then used to get the man and woman to safety and the crew, by this stage exhausted, then formed a human chain to reach the boat themselves.
Harrison, a student at Wyke College in Hull, said: "I wasn't really scared. It was quite exciting. The training I had received was second to none, so it set me up really well to deal with the problems.
"It definitely wasn't easy though. I helped to lift up the Labrador which was a struggle.
"Receiving this award really has made it sink in that, yeah, we saved two people and two dogs.
"It is a great team here and I hope these awards raise awareness of the work that is done."
The crew received their awards in Hornsea Town Hall from the East Riding's lord lieutenant, Susan Cunliffe-Lister.
Dick Wilkinson, secretary of the Royal Humane Society, said: "Incredibly, they suffered only minor injuries but they had risked far worse.
"But for the heroic efforts of the six rescuers, there is every likelihood this couple and their dogs could have drowned.
"They richly deserve the awards they received."
Also praising the six heroes was Hornsea Inshore Rescue's chairman and coxswain Sue Hickson-Marsay.
She said: "We are not in it to be heroes and to get awards.
"However, it is great to see the crew receive recognition for the marvellous job they did.
"The whole team are amazing."