Press release

Watchet Coastguard awarded for life saving efforts

A Coastguard Rescue Officer from Watchet has been recognised for his efforts in helping save a young baby boy’s life.

Coastguard Rescue Officer Simon Bale

Simon Bale has been given a Royal Humane Society (RHS) award, which acknowledges acts of bravery in the saving of human life and for effecting successful resuscitations. The award was presented by the High Sheriff of Somerset, Mr Richard Lloyd.

On Sunday 27 January 2013, Simon and the rest of the Watchet Coastguard Rescue Team were called out to Watchet Harbour. It was after Sam Cooper-Stevens’ pram had been blown into the water by a strong gust of wind.

Former Coastguard George Reeder, who was nearby at the time, jumped in and managed to rescue the six-month-old. However, Sam was in urgent need of medical attention, so Simon stepped in to carry out CPR until ambulance crews arrived. The boy has since made a full recovery.

On receiving the RHS award, Simon said:

I would first of all like to praise the actions of all those involved in this rescue, including George who selflessly jumped in the water to get the baby boy, Tania who started CPR, the rest of the Watchet Coastguard Rescue Team and the attending fire and rescue officers from Williton who were all doing their part at the scene.

I’m honoured to be given this award, and I accept it on behalf of all of those involved from the local community who worked together to help baby Sam. I’m so pleased that this rescue had a happy ending.

If you get into difficulty, or spot someone else who might be in trouble at the coast, call 999 and ask for the Coastguard.

Maritime and Coastguard Agency press office

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Published 28 November 2014