October 2019


Forty years ago more than 100 vessels took part in the ’79 Fastnet rescue, but we doubt anyone will argue with our choice of the Royal Naval Air Station Culdrose to represent all of those involved. Fifteen helicopters from Culdrose flew multiple missions that night as crews rushed back from holidays. Nineteen sailors died but 100 more were lifted off by Culdrose crews plus 65 others rescued by sea
 Why they won
‘Hovering over flailing masts snatching shattered sailors from peril is worth a pair of boots any day of the week!’ – Mike Broughton; ‘I have no idea how they made it through but each one of them put the lives of others before their own’ – Adrian Phillips; ‘My friends survived...’ – Rob Hardcastle; ‘I grew up with the Ace of Spades Squadron 771 always looking over me, only when I started sailing seriously did I learn about the Fastnet disaster. Every single one of them deserve recognition for the extraordinary work they did and not just in 1979’ – Miles Seddon; ‘Not only for their service but for an incredible attitude’ – Alistair Skinner.