RNLI pays tribute to lifesaver Billy Deacon on anniversary of tragic death

Tributes have been paid to the brave lifesaver Billy Deacon on the 24th anniversary of his tragic death.

Lerwick RNLI issued a post of remembrance on Facebook in honour the helicopter winchman.

Mr Deacon died during the rescue of the crew of the Green Lily, off Bressay, during heavy seas on 19th November 1997.

Crew of the lifeboat and coastguard helicopter Lima Charlie saved all 15 lives on board the cargo vessel.

Mr Deacon, however, was sept overboard and lost, having helped 10 of the crew to safety.

“RIP Billy,” the post said. 

The rescue has gone down as one of the most dramatic in RNLI history.

The Lerwick crew had to battle storm force winds and huge waves to rescue the Green Lily crew.

Coxswain Hewitt Clark was awarded a Gold Medal for his seamanship. 

Each of his five man crew received Bronze Medals for their bravery.

The RNLI also recognised Mr Deacon’s courage with a posthumous “Thanks on Vellum”, with a joint Vellum also going to the remainder of the aircraft crew.


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