Royal Navy officer; Born September 27, 1922; Died December 4, 2007.

Rear-Admiral Stanley McArdle, who has died aged 85, made his name when he plunged into the Irish Sea to help save survivors from the stricken Stranraer-Larne car ferry Princess Victoria in 1953.

His ship, the destroyer Contest, was at Rothesay when it picked up a distress signal. The ferry's stern doors had been ripped open by a storm, and water had flooded the car deck. One boat filled with women and children had been lowered, only to capsize and spill its occupants into the raging sea.

When Contest arrived the ferry had already sunk, but McArdle and Chief Petty Officer Wilfred Warren managed to pluck several survivors to safety. A total of 128 people died, but 34 passengers and 10 crew members were rescued. McArdle and Warren were awarded the George Medal.

McArdle was born at Lochmaben, Dumfriesshire, the son of a Royal Marines colour sergeant. He joined HMS St Vincent at Gosport in 1938 as a boy seaman and saw service as a torpedoman throughout the war. He trained the naval guard for King George VI's funeral in 1952.

In 1970 he was CO of the guided missile destroyer Glamorgan, and as Flag Officer Portsmouth and Port Admiral (1973-75) his talent for man-management served the Navy well in the sensitive labour relations of royal dockyards.

In retirement he was a JP and a governor of Godolphin School, Salisbury. He married Joyce Cummins during the war, and then Jennifer Goddard, who survives him with their daughter.