Royal Navy hero who risked life to recover dead fisherman from sinking ship is honoured
A ROYAL Navy diving expert who risked his own life to recover the body of a dead fisherman from a sinking boat is being honoured for his bravery.
Leading Diver Simon Wharton, of Portsmouth, will be decorated with the Queen’s Gallantry Medal for his actions. The 37-year-old was part of a team who battled to rescue a trapped sailor on MV Solstice when it sank on September 27, 2017, near Plymouth.
The vessel had capsized in perilous waters after being driven towards the rocks at Rame Head. Two of the crew had been rescued by the RNLI but a third was still missing.
Married dad-of-two LD Wharton searched the sinking vessel in a valiant attempt to save the fisherman – who tragically died before he could be rescued.
However, rather than leaving the body entombed in the wreck, LD Wharton recovered the fisherman in pitch black, knowing the ship could have sunk at any moment.
He was supported by his fellow diver, LD Joshua Smith – also of Portsmouth – who led him to safety through a tangle of lines and nets hanging in the upturned boat.