Three volunteers were awarded a Bronze Medal for Gallantry after the rescue at Umberleigh in December.

FRT and the Glovers. L-R: Martin Blaker-Rowe, Chris Missen, Paul Glover, Vanessa Glover, Paul Eastment at the APA 2013.FRT and the Glovers. L-R: Martin Blaker-Rowe, Chris Missen, Paul Glover, Vanessa Glover, Paul Eastment at the APA 2013.

MEMBERS of the RNLI Flood Rescue Team have been awarded rescues for a heroic rescue at Umberleigh last year.

This is the first time RNLI volunteers have been awarded medals for a flood rescue.

The team negotiated fast moving flood water, debris and darkness to rescue a woman who had been swept from her car on December 23.

Vanessa Glover was found clinging to a tree surrounded by flood waters and three members of the RNLI boat team that reached her were recognised for their part in the rescue.

Boat team leader Paul Eastment, 46; helmsman Chris Missen, 26 and crew member Martin Blaker-Rowe, 34, received Bronze Medals for Gallantry.

The team is made up of volunteer lifeboat crew from all around the country.

Mr Missen and Mr Eastment are volunteers at Porthcawl Lifeboat Station and Mr Blake-Rowe is an RNLI trainer based in Poole.

The team was called in because local volunteers had been deployed to other incidents that night.

An RNLI spokesman said: “That makes the rescue even more incredible as they’d never worked together before (apart from Chris and Paul) and had to trust each other in extremely dangerous conditions.”

Team members received their medals at an awards ceremony at the Barbican in London on Thursday.