Sir Samuel Hood
This gallant officer, when commanding the "Juno" on the
Jamaica station, in 1791, exhibited a noble instance of intrepid humanity.
The ship was lying in St. Anne's harbour, when a raft, with three persons
upon it, was discovered at a great distance. The weather was exceedingly
stormy; and the waves broke with such violence, as to leave little hope
that the unfortunate men upon it could long survive. Captain Hood instantly
red out one of his ship's boats to endeavour to rescue them; but the
sea ran so high, that the crew declared the attempt impracticable, and
refused to expose themselves to what they considered certain destruction.
The captain immediately leaped into the boat, declaring that he would never
order them on any service on which he would not himself venture. The effect
was such as might be expected: there is no danger that a British sailor
will not share with his captain; all now were eager to offer themselves.
The boat pushed off, and reached the raft with much difficulty, and saved
the exhausted men, who still clung to it. The House of Assembly of Jamaica,
to testify their sense of this undaunted exertion in the cause of humanity,
presented Captain Hood with a sword of the value of two hundred guineas.