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Royal Humane Society Award for Harry May and Nigel Lang

In a tragic accident in Lyme Regis last October, Clair Perkins drowned despite desperate attempts to save her after her wheelchair suddenly rolled into the sea off the Cobb. Clair’s father Mark Perkins, Harry May and South West Air Ambulance paramedic Nigel Lang all dived into the water to try to find the chair and pull Clair up.

While Nigel Lang eventually succeeded in tying a rope around the chair so Clair could be pulled to the surface she sadly died later that day after being airlifted to Dorset County Hospital. At the time Harry was waiting on the Cobb for the passengers for his next Lyme Regis mackerel fishing trip.

Harry MayHarry May and Nigel Lang are now to receive Royal Humane Society testimonials following their nomination by the West Dorset coroner. They also won the personal praise of the secretary of the Royal Humane Society, Dick Wilkinson. Announcing the awards he said: “What happened was truly horrific. But Mr May, Mr Lang and Clair’s father all went in the water to try and rescue her. Mr Lang and Mr May braved the bitter cold in their fight to save Clair. They richly deserve the awards they are to receive.”

Harry May commented that although he was honoured to be nominated for the award, nothing could diminish the tragedy of Clair’s death. He added that her parents, Mark and Paula, had sponsored a candle to remember Clair at the recent Candles on the Cobb ceremony and that he had sent them a photograph of it being lit.

Clair, aged 20 from Solihull, was suffering from Niemann-Pick Disease, a debilitating neurological disease.

Published on 12/09/2012.

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