Sunday, 22 July 2007

Bravery awards for Napoli rescuers

On Friday the MSC Napoli hogged the local headlines as a result of the successful splitting in two using explosive charges. Appropriately at the same time as this terrific news we learn that three rescuers from RNAS Culdrose have been awarded medals for the daring helicopter rescue which saw all 26 crew airlifted from the stricken ship back in January.

So all praise to Jay O'Donnell who will receive the Queen's Gallantry Medal and to Guy Norris and Martin Rhodes who will each receive the Queen's Commendation for Bravery in the Air.

We are reminded yet again of the vital role by the rescue helicopters this weekend as they have been very active in rescuing people from rooftops - reminiscent of Boscastle - as a result of horrendous flooding in the South West Midlands. Places such as Tewksbury and Pershore are virtually islands. I have spoken to brothers in Herefordshire and Worcestershire and they are OK. Both intensity of rain and duration seem to have contributed to the problems. This time most of Devon and all of Cornwall escaped the downpours, the main body of rain being just to the east of us. I understand that crews from St Mawgan and Chivenor are amongst those retrieving people. If ever there was a really good invention then surely it is the helicopter.

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