The Director of Leisure and Cultural Services Department, Mrs. Betty Fung Ching Suk-yee JP, officiated at the Water Safety Campaign 2009 Rescue Star & Honorary Lifeguard Incentive Scheme Presentation Ceremony on 29 May 2010. A total of 129 people who saved other peoples lives in different situations were commended, amongst them Acting Aircrewman Officer II Mr. Philip Ho from the Government Flying Service, who was honored with the 'Life Saving Star Award' for his actions during the rescue of 4 sailors in distress, 67 Nautical miles North East of Hong Kong waters on 2 February 2010.
After a rigorous adjudication process, it was announced that the Government Flying Service was the most outstanding team, and was awarded the Chairman's Trophy. The GFS rescue team was awarded the Trophy in recognition of the exemplary act of gallantry displayed during the same rescue mission on 2 February 2010.
On 2 Feb 2010, the GFS rescue helicopter crewed by Captain Ellen Yan, Captain James Sze, winch-operator Mr. Kenny Cheng and winchman Mr. Philip Ho departed Hong Kong for four sailors in distress, 67 nautical miles Northeast of HK. The on-scene weather was extremely poor with visibility down to 2 km, cloud base at around 500 feet, wind up to 35 knots and a sea swell up to 5 meters. The team located the survivors in a rough and unforgiving sea. Mr. Ho was lowered into the water and successfully rescued all of the survivors. One of the survivors was unconscious, was not breathing and had no pulse. After 30 minutes of continuous cardiac-pulmonary resuscitation and defibrillation, the survivor regained consciousness and was transferred to hospital for medical treatment.
The key to the success of the mission was the spirit of GFS – excellent crew cooperation and Crew Resource Management.