HRH Prince Michael of Kent Certificate of Merit

Roy Phillips of West Midlands Fire Service, a previously trained UK lifeguard, was awarded the HRH Prince Michael of Kent Certificate of Merit for his outstanding courage and bravery during the tsunami in Asia on 26 December 2004.

Roy was on a diving holiday in the resort of Patong Beach, Phuket (Thailand) and witnessed the devastating tsunami wave hitting the shore before he was totally submerged in water and pushed through a plate glass shop window by the wave. He managed to escape from the wreckage of the shop and rescued a young Thai women who was trapped under a shop canopy.

Roy then swam to the rescue of a man who was clinging onto a concrete stanchion, which was supporting unstable high voltage electricity cables and a transformer, and towed him to the precarious safety of a nearby roof.

He then climbed to the safety of the roof, and went to rescue another man who was wading through the water in the street below, Roy had to act quickly as a further large wave was approaching.

Roy ran down the roof, cutting his leg as he fell through a roof tile into the ceiling of the shop beneath. Roy reached the man just in time and pulled him to the safety of the roof, as the second wave hit.

Following these 3 amazing rescues, Roy crossed an unstable wall on 3 occasions to assist distraught persons who had become separated by the waves. This is a brief summary of the courageous actions of Roy Phillips over 30 minutes that resulted in him being awarded, this special Society award, given only at the discretion of HRH Prince Michael of Kent.