Published: 19/04/2017 09:49 - Updated: 19/04/2017 10:17

Bravery honour for Forres man

AN RAF Sergeant, who lives in Forres, has been recognised for his bravery.

Sgt Proctor and family with his Queen's Commendation for Bravery.
Sgt Proctor and family with his Queen's Commendation for Bravery.

Sergeant Sean Proctor was presented with a Queen’s Commendation for Bravery in the Air during a ceremony at RAF Lossiemouth.

The former RAF Search and Rescue crewman, now an RAF reserve, was given the award for his actions in recovering a fisherman from his vessel during severe weather conditions.

In February 2015, a RAF Search and Rescue helicopter from Lossiemouth was requested to airlift a crewman suffering from severe abdominal paid from his fishing vessel.

However the weather conditions including wind, low cloud and rain, with visibility down to 200 metres at times, together with a fierce sea made for a challenging rescue for the experiences SAR crew.

A hi-line was lowered to the fishing boat to guide Sgt Proctor to the deck of the vessel. The swell of the sea caused the boat’s crew to pull too hard on the hi-line with Sgt Proctor’s descent being made more perilous. But through his strength and determination he was able to grasp the hi-line and pull himself on to the vessel. 

Swiftly assessing the condition of the casualty, he prepared him for winching and grasped the winch hook as the vessel lurched violently. 

Recognising the danger of the situation, Sgt Proctor rapidly attached himself and the casualty to the winch hook for recovery to the helicopter.

Sgt Proctor, who lives in Forres with his wife Elizabeth and daughters Shannon and Caitlyn, said: “I’m honoured to have received this award, but I think it’s recognition of the work, effort and skill of the whole crew who responded to the call out on that night. 

“We really worked together to safely recover the injured fisherman from his vessel. The weather did make it challenging for the crew, but our training prepared us for the toughest of situations, and we were able to draw on that training, as well as our experience, to successfully complete the task.”

Sgt Proctor was presented with his QCBA award by Group Captain Paul Chappell during an event held in the Offers’ Mess at RAF Lossiemouth.

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