A LIFEBOATMAN who is to be honoured with a prestigious medal for bravery will be the first recipient of the award in his home town for 42 years.

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution will present Helmsman Rudi Barman with the RNLI Bronze Medal for Gallantry tomorrow (Wednesday, November 18) in recognition of his service during a dangerous and difficult lifeboat call-out earlier this year.

Mr Barman, a member of the Scarborough RNLI crew, will receive the award at the town’s Crown Spa Hotel along with colleagues who also took part in the incident.

On February 22, Scarborough RNLI inshore lifeboat launched into near gale force winds, treacherous seas and darkness to rescue local man Andrew McGeown, who got into difficulties after going into the sea to rescue his dog. Tragically, Mr McGeown did not survive.

Mr Barman, who was in command of the lifeboat, is the first Scarborough RNLI volunteer for 42 years to receive a Gallantry Medal.

Fellow crew members Craig Burnett and Adam Beston are to receive Framed Letters of Thanks, and Dr Peter Billingsley and Jason Hedges will receive Letters of Thanks for their involvement in the incident.

The awards will be presented by the Lord Lieutenant of North Yorkshire, Barry Dodd, and the charity’s chief executive Paul Boissier.

Mr Boissier said: “The sea is an unforgiving place, which is why our volunteer crews need the best training and equipment.

“These are the people who will drop everything and do whatever they can if there’s a chance of saving lives at sea.

“There are some launches that are so outstanding, we choose to recognise them with awards. What Helmsman Barman and the crew did that night is one of those services.”

With Mr Barman in command and crew members Mr Burnett and Mr Beston on board, they repeatedly manoeuvred the D class lifeboat towards the shore despite breaking waves and eventually managed to haul Mr McGeown onto the lifeboat, return him to shore and administer CPR.

Crew members Dr Billingsley and Mr Hedges – a qualified paramedic – continued to administer CPR on shore.

Mr Barman said: “I still go back to that night and go over it in my mind, thinking about whether there was anything we could have done better.

“But it was a miracle we managed to get to him and we all knew that we’d done everything we possibly could for Andrew.

“It is a great honour to receive this award and I feel very proud to be a part of Scarborough lifeboat crew and the RNLI.

“I’ve met members of Andrew’s family since the rescue and it’s humbling to know that they are now raising money for the RNLI in Andrew’s memory at what I know must still be a very difficult time for them all.”