S.G.M. 'The Schooner Bessie Arnold, of Whitehaven, was stranded nine miles from the Life Saving Apparatus Station at Kildonan (Greenock) on 28.12.1908. A rocket was fired but no-one on board secured the line. A body was seen among the wreckage and Welch at great risk entered the surf and brought it ashore, when life was found to be extinct. The other three crew members were also drowned' (P.R.O. BT 261/5 refers).
Leading Boatman Henry Oscar Welch, S.G.M., was born at Chigwell, Essex in May 1876 and entered the Royal Navy as a Boy 2nd Class in September 1891. Having attained the rank of Petty Officer 2nd Class by early 1903, he transferred to the Coast Guard as a Boatman in March of the following year and was awarded his L.S. and G.C. Medal in July 1909. Finally discharged in July 1919, he appears to have spent most of his time with the Coast Guard in Scotland, including appointments at Portsay, Kildonan, Cape Wrath, Inverness, Invergordon and the 'Fair Isle.'