Two local men who rescued a Moroccan migrant who had spent 18 hours in the sea received the Commissioner’s Commendation from the Commissioner of Police Ian McGrail yesterday.
Mr McGrail handed the award to Peter Cosquieri Jr at a Christmas reception he hosted for guests.
The rescue took place in September when Mr Cosquieri and his friend Gary Cooper decided to go out for some early morning fishing in the Europa Point area.
The men were out at sea when they spotted a man struggling in the water and helped him.
Mr McGrail said: “This selfless act has to be recognised and I will be very pleased to do so here.”
“Without any hesitation, these two lads who come from a Sea Scouts background, went to the area of this particular migrant and rescued him.”
“They brought him on board and afforded him some much-needed first aid, wrapping him up and keeping him warm and preventing deterioration in health.”
Mr Cosquieri told the Chronicle: “Another vessel approached us and told them they had seen someone in the sea in the distance.”
“We made our way together and I was closest so I was able to fetch him out of the sea.”
“After spending 18 hours in the sea, he was happy to see us.”
The man was 23-year old Yacine Chengueti, from Agadir, who spent more than 18 hours in the sea floating on a lilo.
Mr Cosquieri and Mr Cooper helped him on board their vessel and wrapped him up in an emergency blanket and hot drinks to help warm him up until he was brought into Gun Wharf.
The two men contacted emergency services, but because the weather was quite bad, they had to keep him on board their vessel until they brought him in to the RGP Marine Section in Gun Wharf.
Mr Cosquieri collected the award on behalf of his friend as well.
Mr McGrail also thanked the “fine men and women of the RGP” and recognised the work they have done during his first year as Commissioner of Police.
He said: “This is a public-facing role we cannot shy away from.”
“Whether it is protecting children from violent homes, or domestic violence which is the precursor to some of the more serious crimes the RGP has had to deal with in recent times.”
In the past few years, the RGP has had to also focus resources on a “series of very complex economic crimes”, and a sustained armed police posture at a time when the Europe faces a terrorism threat.
He called for support for the RGP “in its quest to continue doing its role”.
“We are certainly proud of is that we do contribute to Gibraltar’s solidity, making it a good jurisdiction to visit and do business in,” Mr McGrail added.