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Team which helped rescue man from Norfolk salt marshes rewarded for its 'unrelenting determination'

PUBLISHED: 13:17 29 April 2019 | UPDATED: 13:39 29 April 2019

Members of Wells Coastguard Rescue Team were awarded the Maritime and Coastguard Agency’s chief executive's team award. Pictured is the team with their certificate. PICTURE: Maritime & Coastguard Agency

Members of Wells Coastguard Rescue Team were awarded the Maritime and Coastguard Agency's chief executive's team award. Pictured is the team with their certificate. PICTURE: Maritime & Coastguard Agency

Archant

A 'determined' team, which helped to rescue a man stuck in salt marshes for more than 20 hours, has been awarded for its hard work and dedication serving its community.

Members of Wells Coastguard Rescue Team were awarded the Maritime and Coastguard Agency’s chief executive's team award. (Left to right) Steven Willsher, station officer, presented with a certificate by Tony Garbutt, senior coastal operations officer for HM Coastguard. PICTURE: Maritime & Coastguard AgencyMembers of Wells Coastguard Rescue Team were awarded the Maritime and Coastguard Agency’s chief executive's team award. (Left to right) Steven Willsher, station officer, presented with a certificate by Tony Garbutt, senior coastal operations officer for HM Coastguard. PICTURE: Maritime & Coastguard Agency

Members of Wells Coastguard Rescue Team (CRT) have been awarded the Maritime and Coastguard Agency's chief executive's team award.

This annual accolade is presented to a team that has made an outstanding contribution to the agency.

The team has won the award not only for their involvement in several rescues, but also for their tireless work in serving their community - from promoting HM Coastguard's safety messages to saving the lives of those in need.

Steven Willsher, station officer for Wells CRT, said: “It takes a special person to volunteer as a coastguard rescue officer. They come from all walks of life, but all want to give back to their community.

The moment the rescue team approached missing man Peter Pugh after a police drone found him stuck in the marshes at Titchwell. Photo: Norfolk ConstabularyThe moment the rescue team approached missing man Peter Pugh after a police drone found him stuck in the marshes at Titchwell. Photo: Norfolk Constabulary

“And although the team are being honoured, we have the support of all our coastguard colleagues and the other emergency services by working together, sharing advice and expertise.

“That's how we all can make a difference.”

A recent rescue saw the team heavily involved in the search and rescue of Peter Pugh from the salt marshes at Brancaster, on the north Norfolk coast, last June. Mr Pugh had got lost and subsequently became stuck for more than 20 hours.

Husband and wife, Peter and Felicity Pugh. Picture: ARCHANTHusband and wife, Peter and Felicity Pugh. Picture: ARCHANT

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The team's role included providing search planning expertise by utilising local knowledge of the area which helped police locate Mr Pugh by drone.

Mr Willsher added: “We are currently looking for new volunteers across the Norfolk coast, it'll stretch you in ways you'll never expect, and you'll find you can do things you never dreamed of doing. It could be you helping to save a life or reuniting someone with their family.”

READ MORE: Coastguards' account of search for man who was submerged in water for 20 hours

Tony Garbutt, senior coastal operations officer for HM Coastguard, presented the team their award.

Brian Johnson, chief executive of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, said: “I personally would like to thank Wells CRT for all their hard work and unrelenting determination to serve their community in often deeply challenging circumstances.”

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency is a frontline emergency response agency.

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