‘Hero’ firefighter from Derbyshire due to fly home from Sicily today

A Derbyshire dad-of-two who was stranded on a rescue boat near Sicily for nearly two weeks is hoping to fly home later today, February 1.

Brendan Woodhouse, from near Matlock, is one of four British people on board the Sea-Watch Three boat which rescued 47 people from an inflatable dinghy in the Mediterranean Sea.

Brendan Woodhouse. Picture posted on Sea-Watch 3 Facebook page.

Brendan Woodhouse. Picture posted on Sea-Watch 3 Facebook page.

The boat was then prevented from docking when Italian authorities accused the crew of “assisting illegal migration”.

The migrants were allowed off the ship on Thursday after six European countries agreed to take them in, and Brendan said he has does not regret what they did.

The Nottinghamshire firefighter told BBC Radio Derby: “I’ve done nothing wrong and don’t think there’s anything for me to worry about.

“There’s certainly nothing morally wrong with that.”

The 42-year-old described “absolutely horrendous” conditions on the boat, with migrants suffering from PTSD, having nightmares and “crying themselves to sleep”.

Posting on the Sea Watch Three Facebook page, he added: “I’ve spent hours talking to them about their experiences, and I’m staggered by their humanity, by their struggle.

“But despite everything that they have faced, they breathe empathy with one another.

“They are kind and gentle to each other. They are supportive of us as a crew and feel a sense of mutual responsibility for all of us on the ship.

“I am awestruck by their resolve.