Port Talbot RNLI crew member attends a poignant memorial service for those lost

Damien Hill volunteer crew member at Port Talbot was invited to the joint memorial held by Mumbles and Porthcawl RNLI off Sker point this past Sunday 23 April. The date marked the 76 anniversary of the tragic day that saw 47 people lose their lives. Eight of these heroic men were RNLI volunteers

RNLI/Damien Hill

The Samtampa was a 7,219 ton steam ship that was built by the New England shipping Corporation which launched out of Portland, Maine on 12 December 1943.

Volunteer crew member Damien Hills’ relative Coxswain William John Gammon, an RNLI Gold medal winner was one of the brave crew members who sadly lost his life on that tragic day.

Mumbles RNLI lifeboat Edward, Prince of Wales battled a raging storm and fought to reach the wreck. Seven other brave men also lost their lives that day; William Davies, William Noel, WRS Thomas, Ernest Griffin, William R Thomas, William Lewis Howell and Richard Smith.

Damien said:

‘I have wanted to join the RNLI ever since I found out about my family’s connection to William Gammon at the age of eight.’

During the service Damien was bursting with pride knowing that these brave men are still being remembered and honoured in such a momentous and touching way. He adds:

‘I hope that by following in William Gammon’s footsteps by volunteering with the RNLI, the charity that saves lives at sea I can ensure that future generations of my family will never forget the sacrifice that these men made.

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