Award for Plymouth sailor who saved choking man
AN HEROIC city sailor has been commended for his quick-thinking actions – which most probably saved a man's life.
Petty Officer Paul 'Ticker' Tock turned hero when a man began having a "violent choking attack" at HMS Raleigh.
The 43-year-old was on duty looking after the Royal Yacht Squadron during their stay at the Torpoint training base when the drama unfolded.
As well as planning for the high profile visit, Paul made sure he was available throughout the squadron's stay and was first on the scene when one of the Yacht Club members, Keith Topley, started to choke.
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Paul stepped in straight away to perform the Heimlich manoeuvre just as Mr Topley was on the verge of losing consciousness.
His life-saving actions have now earned him the award of a commendation from Rear Admiral Clive Johnstone, Flag Officer Sea Training (FOST).
The citation for the award reads: "Demonstrating extreme calm, utter presence of mind and considerable physical strength, he carried out successfully the Heimlich procedure on the gentleman, who was close to unconsciousness, and consequently most probably saved the gentleman's life."
Paul is currently serving as an instructor within the Seamanship Training Unit, passing on his extensive knowledge of boat driving to members of the Royal Navy undergoing training for promotion or the front-line.
He said: "In the Royal Navy you are told what a great job you've done regularly, but receiving a commendation from FOST kind of makes it all worth while, giving me something to look at and read in years to come, and hopefully one day to show the grandchildren."
Mr Topley himself expressed his gratitude for Paul's quick reaction.
"I am grateful for the opportunity of thanking PO Tock for his presence of mind and skill in applying the Heimlich manoeuvre when I was struck by a violent choking attack," he said. "I was told by an experienced GP, that, but for PO Tock's speedy action, the consequences might have been much more serious."