Coastguard receives award

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A coastguard officer in Eastbourne has been praised for his quick-thinking and couragous actions after rescuing a suicidal woman.

Keith Rayment, a coastguard rescue officer, was given the award for his reaction to an incident back in March this year.

On March 14, Keith was heading to the Coastguard Rescue Station at Beachy Head to carry out maintenance on equipment.

When he arrived, he carried out a quick tour of the car parks in the vicinity before noticing a woman sat alone in a car.

When he went to investigate, he saw that the woman was in the process of self-harming.

He managed to get into the car, and stop her from causing any further injury to herself.

Keith then called for assistance and continued to provide first aid whilst waiting for back up to arrive.

The woman was then taken to hospital.

Keith, who has been a member of the Eastbourne Coastguard Rescue Team for nearly five years, has now been awarded the Testimonial on Parchment from the Royal Humane Society.

This is awarded when someone has put themselves in danger to save, or attempt to save, someone else.

Peter Dymond, chief coastguard, praised Keith for saving the woman’s life.

He said, “In the face of provocation, Keith’s courageous and quick action undoubtedly saved this person’s life and upheld the finest traditions of Her Majesty’s Coastguard.

“My congratulations to Keith on this well deserved award.”

Murray Milligan, HM Coastguard’s coastal safety manager for the south east, said Keith had used his coastguard training to spot the woman was in trouble.

Mr Milligan said, “When arriving at the station, members of the Coastguard Rescue Team often have a look around for cars parked in an unusual manner, which may, from experience, indicate that someone might be intending to take their own life. Thanks to Keith’s quick decision making and his actions, he prevented a terribly tragedy from occurring.”

Coastguards are on call 24 hours a day to respond to emergencies.