For the second time since the award’s inception in 1951, a Barbadian has been awarded the Mountbatten Medal.
National Conservation Commission (NCC) lifeguard, Terrance Hinds, who was designated the award in 2017, was officially presented with his medal by Governor General Dame Sandra Mason at Government House yesterday morning.
The 44-year-old Hinds, who has been a lifeguard for almost 21 years, was overjoyed at being honoured.
“I feel very proud. [It’s the] best moment of my life and I greatly appreciate it,” he said.
On Thursday, March 9, 2017, Hinds was on duty at Folkestone Marine Park in St James when he rescued two Canadians and a British visitor in less than 30 minutes.
At the time, the beach was displaying red flags due to rough seas and strong currents, and ‘No Swimming’ signs were also erected. Despite this, several people entered the water.
A husband and wife in their 70s were trapped by a rip tide and the lifeguard swam out to rescue the man, who had become exhausted. Simultaneously, Hinds guided the wife back to shore by telling her where to swim.
Once the couple were safely back on shore, he then immediately re-entered the water on a board, and travelled towards the reef to rescue a female snorkeller, who had gotten into difficulty.
The lifeguard urged beachgoers to “listen to the lifeguards when they speak and adhere to the signs that are up”.
Barbados’ first recipient of the Mountbatten Medal was Ken Mayers in 1991 for a rescue at the Soup Bowl in Bathsheba, St Joseph.
The Mountbatten Medal is awarded annually for the most gallant rescue or rescue attempt undertaken in the previous calendar year. The rescue must be made by the holder, or previous holder, of a lifesaving award delivered by a Royal Life Saving Society (RLSS) Member Branch and can only be awarded to a citizen from a Commonwealth nation.
However, the rescue or rescue attempt can be performed anywhere in the world.
The RLSS is a charity registered in the United Kingdom and is governed by Royal Charter. (BGIS)