The Worshipful Company of Paviors is proud to be affiliated to Royal Navy Frigate HMS Argyll. Recently, Argyll was involved in a dramatic sea rescue off the coast of France.
The frigate was returning to Devonport following a nine-month deployment, when a May-Day call was received in the middle of the night from the 28,000-tonne container ship ‘Grande America’, which was on fire. The ship’s crew were fighting a losing-battle against the flames, so abandoned ship and launched their lifeboat into very heavy seas. Unfortunately, the lifeboat failed after its launch. Despite the difficult sea conditions, HMS Argyll successfully launched its sea-boat and managed to nudge the lifeboat against the frigate’s side enabling Royal Marines to haul the crew aboard. With the vessels rolling at 30 degrees, this was a very hazardous operation. The whole operation took eight hours, but 27 crew members were saved.
The Commanding Officer of HMS Argyll, Cdr Toby Shaughnessy, said: ‘I am incredibly proud of my ship’s company and the way they performed in this rescue effort in the most challenging of conditions. Without doubt this was a near run thing. The conditions were on the limit for recovery and this could just as easily been a different result. It was an exceptional team effort and there’s a great feeling on board after a successful result – everyone was saved.’
Click here for a news report and photos of the rescue.