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RNLI Award for our Chief Master, Brendan Cottrell

Cape Clear Ferry Blog

RNLI Award for our Chief Master, Brendan Cottrell

RNLI Award Brendan Cottrell
RNLI Award Brendan Cottrell for the heroic rescue of a French Sailor in July of 2022

RNLI Award for Brendan Cottrell

On Saturday 27th January 2024,  our Chief Master, Brendan Cottrell received a prestigious and well deserved award at the Baltimore RNLI Dinner Dance held in Caseys of Baltimore. Brendan shares a long Cottrell family tradition of service to Baltimore Lifeboat. He was delighted to follow in his late father’s foot’s steps who also received this prestigious award for his gallant efforts during the 1979 Fastnet Yacht race disaster.

Brendan was honored with his lifeboat colleagues Aidan Bush, Coxswain and Brian McSweeney. Also onboard on the night were Emma Lupton, Jim Griffiths, Eoin Ryan and Nigel Keohe.

A difficult and challenging rescue.

It started when the lifeboat was tasked to a capsized catamaran 70 miles offshore in July 2022. Initially, it was expected that the Coast Guard Helicopter could recover the survivor clinging for life to the upturned hull. But with near gale force 7 winds, a 4 to 5 meter swell and the vessel surrounded by wire and netting streaming into the sea, this proved impossible. So Baltimore Lifeboat to the rescue!

RNLI Award for Brendan Cottrell
RNLI Award for Brendan Cottrell Chief Master of Cape Clear Ferries

Deployment of rescue dinghy

Arriving shortly after 9pm Coxswain Aidan Bushe and second coxswain Brendan assessed the situation.  Bravely considering the conditions, Brendan and Brian volunteered to maneuver the small rescue dinghy through the debris to the stricken catamaran. Watching and counting the waves and with split-second timing, they skillfully brought the survivor to safety.

RNLI Award
RNLI Award, Brendan Cottrell, Aidan Bush and Brian McSweeney

Brought to Hospital

From the relative safety of the lifeboat deck, the survivor was airlifted and swiftly brought to hospital by the Rescue 117 Coastguard helicopter.


The citation reads “You are to be commended for your actions under challenging circumstances. Were it not for your seamanship and courage in completing the rescue, the life of the casualty would have been in grave danger”

See for yourself

But of course, you can see the rescue taken from the helicopter yourself on YouTube click here Baltimore Lifeboat July 2022

Go raibh maith agaibh

To all our heroic lifeboat men and women. Let us honor and thank them all and remember to be generous in supporting the RNLI.