Australian Submariners Get Bravery Medal
Last month, the Australian Navy reported that three Submariners had been awarded the Bravery Medal for their actions aboard HMAS Farncomb (SSG 74) in 2007. Today, The Australian has two articles the describe the actions for which they were awarded, here and here. Excerpts:
As Petty Officer Langshaw was trying to undress his stricken crewmate, the sub was heaving up and down in the choppy seas. He was slammed against the side of the boat several times, breaking one of his ribs.Please read the whole story of the rescue of the five Submariners who went overboard while trying to clear a fouled screw. To CPO Rohan Pugh, PO Greg Langshaw and LS Steven Rowell: Good On Ya, 'Mates.
He and Leading Seaman Rowell eventually lifted their exhausted crewmate on to the sub, but the effort meant all three men were spent.
With four men still bobbing in the ocean, a new volunteer swimmer was needed.
Chief Petty Officer Rohan Pugh put up his hand. The 40-year-old Pugh was a veteran lifesaver and father of two from the coastal town of Secret Harbour, south of Perth.
Knowing time was running out for a safe rescue as the conditions worsened, Petty Officer Pugh did not bother with a wetsuit.
Instead, he put on his Speedos with Secret Harbour written on them, slipped on some fins, hopped out of the hatch and into the swirling ocean.
He said he didn't think twice about the risks.
"We're all mates plus we just go and do it," he said.
By this stage, the swell had risen to about two metres and the men had been in the water for more than an hour.