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Displaying items by tag: Philip Wrenn

Irish Coast Guard winchman Philip Wrenn has been presented with the Billy Deacon SAR Memorial Trophy at a ceremony in London this week.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the crewman with the Shannon-based coastguard helicopter Rescue 115 was recognised in March for his role in the rescue two two Italian brothers who fell into the Atlantic two-and-a-half years ago.

Wrenn was lowered from the helicopter to pluck Giovanni and Ricardo Zanon from the waters after the incident at Poll na bPéist on Inis Mór in the Aran Islands in February 2019.

The brothers were reunited with Wrenn and winch operator Ciarán McHugh for a documentary that aired on TG4 last year.

More recently, Giovanni and Ricardo returned to Ireland with their family last month to thank Wrenn and the rest of the crew for their efforts.

Wrenn was conferred with the Billy Deacon SAR Memorial Trophy six months ago but coronavirus restrictions delayed the in-person presentation until this week, during a special ceremony at the Palace of Westminster yesterday (Tuesday 14 September).

The trophy is named in memory of late Bristow Helicopters winchman Billy Deacon, who died during a Maritime and Coastguard Agency search and rescue helicopter mission in 1997.

Speaking of Wrenn’s rescue efforts, award committee chair George Rawlinson MBE said: “During this service Phil Wrenn faced considerable personal risk. His calm determined professionalism, and quick-thinking selfless action undoubtably ensured a successful outcome.

“A very courageous and brave act indeed, in saving the lives of both casualties. Huge credit goes to the pilot and crew of the rescue helicopter, whose teamwork and communication skills were vital to ensuring a successful outcome for all.

“Phil’s actions exemplify the risks often faced by search and rescue helicopter crews, and other maritime emergency services, who are always ready to respond to the call for help, even in the most challenging and risky conditions.”

Wrenn also received an inscribed watch from sponsors Breitling at the Air League’s Honours and Awards Reception Ceremony hosted by the House of Commons.

Published in Coastguard

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