Mechanic saved vessel and averted marine disaster

Christos XXII, the tug that CPO Neil Halsey helped to salvage
Christos XXII, the tug that CPO Neil Halsey helped to salvage Credit: Royal Navy

Armed only with softwood wedges to hammer into holes and two commercial pumps, Navy mechanic, CPO Neil Halsey demonstrated “gallant endeavour and outstanding leadership” and has received the Queen's Commendation for bravery for his work in salvaging a ship in distress.

He led his team in a dark room filled with diesel fumes, shoulder-height oily water, and lit by a single lamp. Despite freezing conditions that made gripping the hammers extremely difficult, Halsey remained resolute and his determination ensured the vessel stayed afloat for the salvage boat.

If the tug had capsized or smashed on the rocks, more than 200 tonnes of diesel would have leaked out, just a few miles from Torbay’s beaches.

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Navy Engineer receives Royal Commendation

A Royal Navy engineer who repeatedly immersed himself in freezing rising waters in the engine room of a sinking tug to block incoming water has been awarded a Queen’s Commendation for Bravery.