BAKEWELL, Layamon John
Lieutenant, Royal New Zealand Navy

New Zealand Distinguished Service Decoration
Queen's Birthday Honours List 2012
Lieutenant Bakewell was Commanding Officer of HMNZS ROTOITI, which at 5.00am on 11 October 2011 was ordered to sail to the
vicinity of the grounded vessel MV Rena, off the coast of Tauranga. Deteriorating weather conditions overnight had led the Salvage
Master onboard Rena to request an evacuation of non-essential personnel. By 6.30am when ROTOITI arrived on the scene, bad
weather conditions precluded a transfer by boat. Lieutenant Bakewell then called for helicopter assistance which arrived on the
scene at 8.00am. Under his direction, the aircraft managed to evacuate thirteen personnel in three lifts before weather conditions
prevented further flying. Rena’s state was now critical. The ship was listing with the hull under immense strain and containers on the
stern becoming unstable. An oil slick down wind from the ship had also spread. At 9.30am, the Salvage Master called "MayDay" and
sought an immediate evacuation of the remaining twenty-seven personnel onboard. By 9.50am, Lieutenant Bakewell had organised
five rigid hull inflatable boats to commence the operation. Due to prevailing and worsening conditions, there were considerable
restraints on where the boats could safely operate. All remaining personnel were however safely evacuated from the Rena by

New Zealand Distinguished Service Decoration