HM Coastguard Rescue Officer Wins 'Pride of Scotland' Award

Coastguard Rescue Officer Jamie Newlands has been named the first ever ‘Pride of Scotland Emergency Service Award’ winner. 
Credit: Pride of Scotland

Jamie, a volunteer with Sumburgh Coastguard Rescue Team, was nominated for his part in a rescue that saved a young man’s life in May 2018. 

 Ellis Thomason, who was 19 at the time, went out for a walk with a friend at Fethaland, at the northern tip of Shetland. 

 After the pair made their way down a rocky cliff, the weather took a dramatic turn, with strong winds, heavy rain and rising squall all battering the teenagers. Ellis kept slipping on the wet rocks unable to make his way back up the cliff. To make matters worse, night fell, and the tide was quickly coming in around him. 

Shetland Coastguard Operations Centre coordinated the rescue after receiving the initial 999 call and sent coastguard rescue teams from Lerwick, Hillswick and Sumburgh along with the coastguard helicopter from Sumburgh and Aith RNLI lifeboat. 

With the turbulence making it difficult for the helicopter’s winch paramedic to reach Ellis and the lifeboat not able to get near the base of the cliff, the safest option was for the coastguard rescue teams to carry out a rope rescue. 

Jamie Newlands was the cliff rescue technician that night. The rescue, in atrocious weather, was Jamie’s first cliff rescue. He was lowered 130ft in the dark down to Ellis and was able to bring him back to safety.

 Simon Neil & Jamie Newlands
Credit: Pride of Scotland 

Biffy Clyro’s frontman Simon Neil presented the award in a surprise reveal. Winning came as a complete shock to Jamie who had no idea that he’d even been nominated. 

Jamie, who has since joined Banff Coastguard Rescue Team said, ‘I’m completely astonished and immensely proud to have won this award, but it really was a team effort, as emergency response teams we all rely on each other and on this occasion it just so happened I was the person who was lowered to get Ellis and bring him to safety.’ 

‘Without everyone playing their part that night, Ellis may not be here today. I’m truly honoured to receive this award on behalf of all those involved that night.’ 

Peter Mizen, Chief Coastguard said, ‘We’re extremely proud that Jamie’s dedication, commitment and extreme bravery has been honoured in this way. As a service we’re truly thankful to have such dedicated volunteers and staff that continuously overcome the most challenging of situations to help those in need.’ 

The Daily Record Pride of Scotland Awards 2020, in partnership with TSB, will be broadcast on STV on 31st December at 10:45pm and will be available across the UK on all major platforms through the STV Player 

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