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Navy sailor honoured for saving 14 people on Scots yacht

Sally Hughes rescued the entire crew of the Clyde Challenger 500 miles from land.

Clyde Challenger: Sally Hughes piloting rescue boat to stranded yacht.
Clyde Challenger: Sally Hughes piloting rescue boat to stranded yacht. Royal Navy

A Royal Navy sailor who saved 14 lives when a Scottish yacht became stranded 500 miles from land has been hailed for her bravery.

HMS Dragon was sent to the aid of the Clyde Challenger after it lost its mast and began taking on water south of Land's End in February.

Piloting a small rescue boat, Sally Hughes battled through 50mph winds and 18ft waves to retrieve all 14 sailors.

She persisted despite being wounded when her vessel was smashed into the side of HMS Dragon by a wave, damaging it and injuring her arm.

Sally Hughes: Saved lives of 14 sailors.
Sally Hughes: Saved lives of 14 sailors. PO Phot Owen Cooban

Ms Hughes, 28, has now been awarded the Queen's Gallantry Medal for her "exemplary bravery".

She said: "I am humbled to have been recognised for my actions during the rescue.

"I was doing my job in challenging conditions and was but part of a team effort in rescuing the sailors; an action I would hope anyone would do if I were ever to be in a similar situation."

"There was no place for fear during this rescue," she added.

The Challenger, which was designed for round-the-world races and berthed in the Firth of Clyde, could not be recovered.

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