A photo of Winchman Stuart Rogers QGM (Picture: Royal Navy).
A Royal Navy engineer has received the Queen’s Gallantry Medal for his part in a dramatic sea rescue in 2017.
Winchman Stuart Rogers was part of Navy aircrew that saved 13 lives after a tanker sank in the Indian Ocean.
The Queen recognised his bravery which saw him lowered from HMS Monmouth's Wildcat helicopter and battle 30ft waves to rescue a sailor.
Rogers – who had only just qualified as a Winchman and never before been involved in an actual rescue – became tangled in the winch cable after he entered the water.
After freeing himself, he swam to the survivor through oily water, 30ft waves and high winds.
After half an hour without being able to successfully hook up the survivor and get him to safety, the light was fading, the helicopter was low on fuel and preparing to abandon the rescue attempt.
But finally, an exhausted Rogers managed to hook him up and the pair were lifted to safety.
"That was a difficult sortie - we were close to the wire on that one but it was great that we were able to get him on board," recalled Rogers.
"A 30-minute attempt to get him hooked up was one of the hardest things I've had to do since joining the Fleet Air Arm."
Now his bravery has been recognised at Buckingham Palace, where he was awarded the Queen’s Gallantry Medal.
He hopes to one day meet again with the man he saved.