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Sparky's RHIB rescue helps him to Reservist of Year title

Petty Officer Warnock consults a textbook while delivering training
10 January 2024
The bravery of senior rating Mark ‘Sparky’ Warnock rescuing all six people from a stricken boat in the Forth earned him the title of RN reservist of the year.

The petty officer, who is works as the senior boats’ rate at HMS Scotia, was delivering a Royal Yachting Association powerboat course on the Forth when he picked up a Mayday call from another craft on the river.

When he approached the vessel in distress, he found two people clinging to a buoy, as well as two passengers and two children on board without life jackets.
Sparky transferred all six individuals on board, secured the vessel under tow and then landed the passengers ashore. He secured the vessel alongside and then handed over to HM Coastguard.

On receiving his award PO Warnock said:
“I’m completely shocked, but also incredibly proud,” said Mark. “We were just conducting our regular training serials when we responded to the vessel in distress.

The whole team acted in a manner that you’d expect from professional seafarers, noting that it’s our duty to render assistance on the water if we are able to do so.

“I was not acting alone here, the crew of the RHIB stepped up to the challenge we were faced with. I was proud of the way they acted; they performed their duty in an exemplary manner.”

As did Sparky himself, who collected the Vice Admiral Sir Donald Gosling Plate as a reward for his new title.

“I am extremely privileged to have PO Warnock as part of my team at Scotia,” said his Commanding Officer at Scotia, Surgeon Commander Rob O’Donnell.

“He goes above and beyond in everything that he does, exemplifying the Royal Navy’s core values. His conduct on the Forth epitomises this, and I am delighted that he was been awarded the Vice Admiral Sir Donald Gosling Plate and named as RNR Reservist of the year for his actions. Well done!”

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