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AET Williams being presented with his commendation by Rear Admiral Tom Cunningham

Engineer receives an award for helping save the life of a pilot

Published: 18 Jul 2012

An aircraft engineer from 846 Naval Air Squadron based at RNAS Yeovilton in Somerset has received an award for the part he played in helping to save the life of a stricken helicopter pilot onboard the aircraft carrier HMS ILLUSTRIOUS. Air Engineering Technician (AET) Mark Williams (37) received a framed commendation from the head of the Royal Navy’s Fleet Air Arm, Rear Admiral Tom Cunningham, at a specially arranged presentation onboard HMS ILLUSTRIOUS in Portsmouth.

At the time of the incident the ship had been taking part in a multi-national exercise off the coast of Scotland earlier this year when a helicopter pilot fell down an aircraft lift, seriously injuring himself. Mark had been nearby, working on his Sea King helicopter in the Aircraft Hangar at the time, and as soon as he saw the incident happen he quickly went to the aid of the pilot, who was unconscious, and helped to get him into the recovery position and clear his airway, allowing him to breathe. A spokesman for the Royal Navy commented “Considering that this was AET Williams’ first time at sea, working long hours as part of a high tempo exercise, the calm and professional manner in which he reacted to the incident was nothing short of extraordinary”.


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