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Title:WESTLAND WHIRLWIND TAKES PART IN THE RESCUE OF CREWMEN FROM THE STRICKEN FRENCH TRAWLER JEANNE GOUGY [Allocated Title]
Film Number:49K 34
Other titles:WESTLAND AIRCRAFT FILM COLLECTION [Allocated Series Title]
Summary: Mute footage of the rescue by a Westland Whirlwind of 22 Squadron, of marooned crew members from stricken French Trawler the Jeanne Gougy at Land's End in Cornwall on 3 November 1962. Sergeant Eric Smith is lowered from the Whirlwind to rescue two members of the ship's crew.
Technical Details: Format: 16mm
Number of items/reels/tapes: 1
Footage: 100 ft (ca)
Notes: Summary: The Jeanne Gougy crashed onto the Armoured Knight rock below the cliffs at Land's End, in bad weather in the early hours of 3 November 1962. A huge wave threw the ship on its side and partially submerged the vessel. It was initially thought there were no survivors, but in the late morning survivors were spotted onboard and a rescue mission was mounted. Taken from the website of the 22 Squadron Association: "On 3 November 1962 Sergeant Eric Smith volunteered to be lowered to the grounded and stricken French fishing vessel, "Jeanne Gougy", to rescue two trawlermen from inside the wheel house. The wheel house was continually being submerged by breaking waves. Having been ordered to remain attached to the winch wire, he entered the vessel's wheel house, continually having to take a deep breath of air and hold his breath while the wheel house was submerged before the waves receded again. Once inside the wheel house he found two survivors, which he rescued separately. A report of a possible third survivor required Eric Smith to enter the wheel house yet again and crawl along a passageway towards the radio room to look for the survivor. None was found, but before being able to return to the helicopter he had to disentangle the winch wire from the hub of the ship's wheel; the wheel house and passageway continually being engulfed by the sea." (http://www.22squadronassociation.org.uk/Hist5502.html). Of the 18 men strong crew, 12 lost their lives, but six survived. Sergeant Smith was awarded the George Medal for his part in the rescue.