By Cara Sulieman
A GROUP of hero Scots soldiers just back from serving in Afghanistan helped save a man’s life aboard a ferry after he was left badly injured during a brawl at sea.
They first helped break up a fight, administer life-saving treatment and then co-ordinated a ship to shore helicopter medi-vac of the casualty so he could receive specialist care in hospital.
The passenger was on a P&O ferry sailing from Hull to Rotterdam last weekend when he was involved in a fight with a group of men and left bleeding badly and struggling to breathe.
Ship’s crew who were trying to break up the mob asked the nine soldiers from The Highlanders, 4th Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland, to step in and help calm the situation.
They had been travelling back to their base in Fallingbostel after attending the funeral of their comrade Lance Corporal Andrew Young who had died in a road accident near his home in Port Soy.
As security staff and soldiers broke up the fight, two corporals among the troop rushed to the injured man’s aide.
Brian Allen and Douglas Young had served as medics during the battalion’s last tour of Afghanistan and were able to keep the man stable until a helicopter arrived.
Corporal Allen, a Detachment Commander in the Anti Tank Platoon, from Fettercairn, Angus, said: “We made an immediate assessment that the casualty needed hospital attention as he had suffered severe head injuries.
Stabilised his breathing
“I stabilised his breathing and bleeding, placed him in the recovery position and monitored his well-being as we waited for the helicopter”
Corporal Young from Forres, meanwhile, called the coastguard from the Pride of Hull ferry and described the injured man’s injuries to medical staff.
He said: “When I spoke to the coastguard and a doctor from Aberdeen on the satellite phone and radio I mentioned I was army first aid trained and briefed them on the casualty’s injuries.
“He kept slipping in and out of consciousness and clearly needed hospital treatment quickly.
“We just had to use our training to keep him stable until the helicopter arrived.”
Taken to hospital
Doctors took over from the soldiers and evacuated the injured man to hospital where he was receiving further treatment.
Last night both the MoD and ferry company said they were unable to give further details of the injured man’s recovery status because of patient confidentiality
However P&O Ferries were high in their praises for the soldiers and were quick to commend the group for their actions.
A spokesman for the company said: “They didn’t have to come forward but they stepped up to the mark and their calm professionalism shone through.
“You couldn’t ask for better role models.
“We will be writing to them to express our appreciation and invite them to come back as our guests in the future.”
“Very highest standard”
Most of 4 SCOTS had been deployed on Op TELIC 12 in Iraq with 7 Armoured Brigade until last December, where they were mentoring and training the Iraqi Army.
B Company was detached and served in Afghanistan.
The Highlanders were on their way back to their Germany base after attending the funeral of LCpl Andrew Young, a very popular member of their Battalion, who was tragically killed in a road accident at Easter near his home in Port Soy, Scotland only weeks after returning from operations.
Last night an Army spokesperson confirmed they were aware of the incident aboard the ferry and said: “All our personnel are trained to the very highest professional standards and we are delighted they were able to assist on this occasion.”