Lloyd's medal for saving life at sea

Working at sea is still very dangerous: fishermen in Britain, for example, have a one in 20 chance of being killed on the job during the course of their working lives. In previous years the odds for survival were even worse and so selfless acts of bravery at sea were especially honoured and celebrated as the risk involved in rescue was so much greater.

The Lloyds Medal for Saving Life at Sea was awarded in these exceptional circumstances, and last week the Scottish Maritime Museum was fortunate enough to receive one as a donation.

Our Lloyds Medal was awarded in 1878 to Ardrossan born Captain Peter Sharp, who was master of the sailing brig ‘Annabella Clark’.  He was awarded the Lloyd’s medal, as well as an Albert Medal of the First Class, for his actions saving the lives of the crew of French ship 'Melanie' when 600 barrels petroleum she was carrying exploded on the River Adour in southwest France on 20th November 1878.

According to the Lloyds List, the fire blazed from 6pm to 11pm completely destroying the vessel and cargo. Captain Sharp and a sailor named James McIntosh who was also recognised with a medal, were moored nearby. They rescued men from the ship and the burning river, sustaining serious injury.