Wednesday, 10 October 2007

Napoli rescuer receives medal from Queen

On the 22 July I had recorded the fact that three men from RNAS Culdrose were in line to receive bravery awards for their part in the successful rescue of the crew from the stricken cargo ship MSC Napoli. Today one of them, Petty officer Jay O'Donnell, duly accepted the Queen's Gallantry Medal at Buckingham Palace.

Such were the conditions that PO O'Donnell couldn't be lowered direct into the life raft, he was dropped into the sea close by, had to disconnect himself from the helicopter temporarily and then swim to the life raft to assist the 26 crew, all in truly appalling conditions.

The crews of the two helicopters involved in the rescue have just collected awards from the Shipwreck Mariners' Society which, I have just discovered, came into being in the nineteenth century as a result of the tragic loss of a fleet of fishing boats from Clovelly in North Devon. That's something new learnt today

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