Gallantry: Lifeboat crew honoured for trawler rescue

A fearless member of an Irish RNLI lifeboat crew who defied horrific sea conditions to save six fishermen on a sinking trawler has been awarded the first gallantry medal to be presented in Ireland for more than a decade.

The entire Castletownbere RNLI lifeboat crew will be honoured for their heroism during the successful rescue of the stricken trawler Clodagh O on October 10, 2018. Coxswain Dean Hegarty, who manoeuvred the boat, earned a bronze medal for gallantry, one of the highest awards within the lifesaving community.

The west Cork crew – including mechanic Martin O’Donoghue, lifeboat volunteers Seamus Harrington, John Paul Downey and David Fenton and deputy launching authority Michael Martin-Sullivan – will all receive a framed commendation letter from the RNLI.

All six fishermen on the Clodagh O were saved.

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On the evening of October 10, the trawler issued a mayday alert while off The Pipers, an area south west of Castletownbere harbour.

The lifeboat launched in darkness into a Force 9 gale, driving rain and heavy squalls, to rescue the crew who were in grave and imminent danger due to their vessel having lost all power.

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