THE skill and professionalism of four volunteer crew members from Criccieth’s RNLI lifeboat has been officially recognised.

They received a letter of thanks from the chair of the RNLI’s medical committee, Prof Charles Deakin, after a call attended by the lifeboat crew on 4 July 2015, in which three people were reported in difficulty off the main beach at Harlech.

The station’s Atlantic 85 lifeboat, Doris Joan, was crewed on the day by Mark Hobley, David O’Neill, Ifan Jones and Clive Wright at the Helm.

Although there was some confusion regarding the exact location of the incident, the lifeboat began a sweeping search at the northern end of the beach.

Once on-scene, all three casualties were ashore and a coastguard first responder was with them.

Two crew members, Mark Hobley and David O’Neill, swam ashore with vital first aid equipment, including an oxygen tank.

The casualties were from the same family; two girls and a boy.

Their mother, a qualified nurse, had already placed one girl, who had emerged fully alert from the sea, in the coastguard vehicle to get warm.

The boy had been pulled from the water conscious, but fainted shortly afterwards. Whilst the eldest girl had been pulled from the water almost totally unresponsive.

The crew, alongside the first responder, began­ administering oxygen to the unconscious girl. Within minutes of receiving treatment, she showed signs of improvement.

The air ambulance arrived on scene and she was passed over to the care of their paramedic and doctor who requested that Mark and David stayed to assist.

Meanwhile, the boy had been placed in an ambulance awaiting the arrival of the coastguard rescue helicopter.

However, that helicopter was diverted to ano­ther incident and the boy was transferred to Bangor hospital by ambulance.

The timing of the letter couldn’t be more apt, with the crew currently undergoing an extensive casualty care course.

Criccieth RNLI lifeboat operations manager Peter Williams said: “It is wonderful to see the crew being praised by the chair of RNLI’s Medical Committee. Their actions that day greatly contributed to a positive outcome”.