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Örfirisey’s crew receive Red Cross commendation

The crew of factory trawler Örfirisey RE were yesterday given a commendation by Red Cross Iceland for an outstanding life-saving achievement that took place on the 5th of December. Crewmen used first aid skills to save the life of chief mate Kristján Víðir Kristjánsson when he suffered a cardiac arrest at sea, and a defibrillator was used to restart his heart.

Yesterday was 112-day and the occasion is used to deliver commendations to those who have been involved in an outstanding achievement in the previous year. This time four commendations were awarded and one of those is then chosen ‘first-aider of the year.’

‘We started early by commending the crew of Örfirisey, as the ship was due to sail last night,’ said Jón Thorsteinn Sigurðsson, chairman of the Reykjavík branch of the Red Cross.

He commented that it is remarkable how fresh in the minds of the crew the events of the 5th of December still are.

‘In my opinion these guys are real-life heroes. They showed exceptional heroism by keeping Kristján Víðir Kristjánsson alive for three hours before a the rescue team and a doctor were able to step in ,’ he said.

As can be expected, skipper Trausti Egilsson was delighted with the commendation and when we spoke to him Örfirisey was located off the Westfjords in a blinding snowstorm.

‘We hold regular first aid training courses, and that expertise and the seamless response of the crew were what saved Kristján Víðir Kristjánsson’s life. We are extremely thankful for that,’ Trausti Egilsson said.

The award for first-aider of the year 2014 went to Anna Úrsúla Guðmundsdóttir and other players in the Valur ladies team, an award given to them for saving the life of Guðmundur Helgi Magnússon at the Valur sports hall.