Aidan gets to thank Shannon helicopter hero who saved his life

Aidan William Cordeiro with his parents Cristiane and Gerlivan meeting Winchman/Paramedic Philip Wrenn at the Rescue 115 helicopter base in Shannon.

AN EIGHT-year-old boy who was saved from drowning in West Clare last summer by Coastguard Helicopter Rescue crew 115 paid a visit to his heroes at their Shannon base to thank them for their bravery.

Aidan William Cordeiro was swimming at Doughmore Beach on August 13 when he was swept out to sea by riptides.

The Kilkee and Doolin Coastguard units were dispatched to the incident along with Rescue 115 from Shannon. A number of people on the beach attempted to reach Aidan but without success.

The Rescue 115 crew were able to see that Aidan was struggling badly to stay afloat. Winchman/Paramedic Philip Wrenn was lowered to the boy but, due to difficult sea conditions, made the decision to release from the winch and swim Aidan to shore.

An eye witness said that “the child had to be a strong swimmer to keep himself above water for that long, but he was starting to go under. His head disappeared below the water a few times just before the helicopter arrived”.

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Philip said afterwards: “We would not normally release from the hoist cable but, as Aidan and I were being battered by white water breaking over us, I felt the best and safest course of action was to swim with Aidan to the beach.”

Aidan was assessed by ambulance paramedics and fortunately did not require to be airlifted to hospital.

At the happy reunion with Philip and the Rescue 115 crew Aidan’s mother and father, Cristiane and Gerlivan, thanked the crew not just for saving Aidan but for the work they do rescuing people all year round.

And it’s not the first time Philip has proved to be the hero of the day.

He was presented with the Billy Deacon SAR Memorial Award for Bravery in 2020 for his rescue of two Italian brothers when they fell 20 metres from a cliff and were washed into the sea at a notorious black spot on Inis Mór known as the ‘Worm Hole’.

The Billy Deacon Award is presented to Winchmen and/or Winch Operators for meritorious service during search and rescue helicopter operations in the Irish and UK Search and Rescue regions.