HERO fisherman Joe Moore has received a top award for saving lives when a trawler sank.
He has been presented with a Royal Humane Society Award for his actions after the vessel FV Betty G sank in Lyme Bay last July.
The 22-year-old was on his first fishing trip on board the beam trawler when it ran into problems after snagging one of its nets while fishing 10 miles off the Dorset coast.
Skipper Stuart Greene, Max Didlick and Joe managed to launch and scramble aboard the life raft as the vessel started to go under — only to find it was still tethered.
Brixham coastguard centre manager Peter Davies nominated Joe for the award which was presented to him by Peter Dymond, chief coastguard at the Maritime and Coastguard Agency.
Mr Davies said: "As the Betty G sank, Joe realised the life raft was caught up on the vessel.
"He dived below the water in darkness to locate and retrieve a knife from the vessel, which enabled him to cut free the life raft.
"His actions undoubtedly saved his life and the lives of the other two crew.
"It was his very first trip at sea. He showed selflessness and great courage."
Coastguards, including Mr Davies, were honoured with special long-service awards at the same presentation ceremony at the Manor Inn in Brixham.
Members of the Brixham Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre were presented with medals by Mr Dymond.
Those honoured included watch manager Andy Huber, who has served since 1987 and joined Brixham in 1990, coastguard watch assistant Kirsten Buchan, who has served since 1993 and joined Brixham that year, watch officer Roger Davis, who has been with the service since 1992 and joined Brixham in 1996, centre manager Mr Davies, who started in 1992 and joined Brixham in 1995, sector manager Fred Caygill, who has served since 1992 and joined Brixham in 1999, and volunteer coastguard officer Keith Langworthy, who has been with the service since 1993 and been with the Dartmouth Coastguard Rescue Team throughout.
Mr Davies said: "Her Majesty's Coastguard is still revered, respected and considered to be the exemplar of a coastguard service around the world.
"In part, this success is because of the people employed and the manner in which they go about coastguard business.
"It has been a privilege to work with so many members of staff that take such pride in the service and the job we do."
Six local Coastguard officers received their Long Service awards at the ceremony. They are:
Andy Huber: Andy has served with the Coastguard since 1987. It's his 26th year of service this year. He joined Brixham in April 1990 and prior to this he served at MRSC Liverpool. He is a former Merchant Navy Officer.
Kirsten Buchan: Kirsten joined MRSC Brixham as an Ops Room Auxiliary in 1993. After three year's service she became a Watch Assistant in 1996. She has a background in commercial fishing.
Roger Davis: Roger joined Shetland Coastguard in 1992 as a Watch Officer. He moved to Portland in 1996 and transferred to Brixham later that year. Prior to joining the Coastguard, Roger served as a Royal Marine.
Peter Davies: Peter joined HM Coastguard in 1992 at Stornoway as a Watch Officer. He served there in a number of roles until 1995 when he joined MRCC Brixham. Since then, he has served in a variety of roles. Prior to joining the Coastguard he served in the Royal Navy.
Fred Caygill: Fred joined the Coastguard initially as a volunteer in 1992, serving with the Exmouth Coastguard Rescue Team. He then joined Brixham MRCC in 1999 as a Coastguard Watch Assistant and served for three years, before going on a detached duty post as a Coastguard Press Officer at HQ in Southampton for six months. He then returned to Brixham MRCC for 18 months, before being appointed as Press Officer working at Southampton in 2004. He held this position for nine years, before being appointed as Prawle Sector Manager this year.
Keith Langworthy: Keith has served since 1993 and has been with the Dartmouth Coastguard Rescue Team throughout. It is estimated Keith has attended around 540 incidents over 20 years. He is a member of the Dartmouth harbour staff, and his expert knowledge of the boats and events on the river are invaluable to the Coastguard. He is a rope technician and water rescue trained.