Looking back... Bravery award for young Glengormley sailor who rescued cadet

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A young Glengormley sailor received a bravery award in 1961 after rescuing a shipmate who had fallen into the sea.

Eighteen-year-old Brian Kernaghan, from Elmfield Avenue, was a cadet onboard a cargo ship ‘The Torr Head’ which had just arrived in Cornwall after sailing from the Canadian port of St John.

The midshipman and his fellow cadet, Michael Alexander from Belfast, had been helping to paint the hull of the cargo ship, whilst in dock, when the accident occurred.

Cadet Alexander fell off the staging into the sea injuring his ribs.

Without any hesitation, Brian dived into the sea and supported Michael until a boat reached them and pulled them to safety.

Brian, the son of Irish international footballer, Norman, was invited to the head offices of the Ulster Steamship Company in Belfast by the Royal Humane Society to receive a parchment from the society in recognition of his bravery.

Brian also received an award from the director of the Ulster Steamship Company.

The director, CD Clarke, said that the company had decided to recognise Brian’s act of bravery by presenting him with a gift.