George Medal for submarine officer


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The Independent Online

A Royal Navy officer who was murdered as he tried to stop a sailor from carrying out a gun rampage aboard a nuclear-powered submarine has been awarded one of the highest medals for bravery.

Lieutenant Commander Ian Molyneux receives a posthumous George Medal – second only to the George Cross – for attempting to tackle Able Seaman Ryan Donovan as he ran amok on HMS Astute whileit was docked in Southampton.

His widow, Gillian, said she felt "extremely proud and humbled" to know that her husband's "remarkable bravery" has been recognised. Lt Cdr Molyneux, 36, a father of four from Standish, Wigan, tried to disarm Donovan after hearing shots on board the submarine on 8 April last year, but was shot in the head.

The gunman was then wrestled to the ground by Southampton City Council's leader, Royston Smith, and chief executive, Alistair Neill, who were visiting the submarine at the time. In a letter to Lt Cdr Molyneux's widow, First Sea Lord Admiral Sir Mark Stanhope said: "In giving his life to save others, Ian demonstrated courage of the highest possible order. His selfless actions displayed incredible presence of mind and singular bravery."

Mr Smith and Mr Neill were also awarded the George Medal in the Civilian Gallantry List for their heroic actions in grabbing the gun from Donovan. They both believed the submarine was under terrorist attack and that the sailor would continue to fire until he ran out of ammunition.