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Former Warsash cadet has become the youngest ever recipient of the prestigious Merchant Navy Medal in the 2020 Merchant Navy Awards.

23rd November 2020
MaritimeMaritime website

Max Bingle - a former cadet at Solent University’s Warsash Maritime School – is the youngest ever recipient of the prestigious Merchant Navy Medal and has been recognised for saving people’s lives in dire straits at sea.

While at sea, 24-year-old Max responded to the distress call in pitch black, rough waters to save three men on a sinking boat. Despite his own boat becoming endangered during the rescue mission, he drove forward and, with the help of two others, saved the lives of his fellow mariners.


Max Bingle

Commenting on his medal, Max says: “This recognition is completely out of the blue. Everybody on board acted in the highest maritime tradition by going to the aid of fellow sailors in peril on the sea. Saving lives is what we are trained to do as seafarers, and I’m grateful for this recognition.”

Max, from Devon, is joined by 19 other mariners awarded for outstanding service and contribution to the sector, including services for fishing safety and training throughout their careers.

Lars Lippuner, Director, Warsash Maritime School at Solent University: “We are very proud to count Max amongst our former students. Max is an excellent example of a long line of cadets who have trained with us both for his initial and his next higher Certificate of Competency.

“Seafarers are unsung heroes, ensuring the supply of vital goods continues even in times of crisis such as the current pandemic. There is a good reason why mariners train for such emergencies and Max’s truly heroic act demonstrates his high level of skills, whilst his surprise at receiving such an award is credit to his professional and humble attitude.”

Maritime Minister, Robert Courts said: “I am delighted to announce the recipients of this year’s Merchant Navy Medal. They have all gone beyond the call of duty to provide an invaluable service to our sector and our country.

“It’s a special honour to award the medal to Max, its youngest ever recipient. He showed incredible bravery in saving three fellow sailors from drowning in rough seas, and this award is a recognition of his incredible selflessness that night.”

“The Merchant Navy awards celebrate the vital role of Merchant Navy seafarers and the contribution they continue to make to our country, as well as their well-known service during wartime.”