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Mary Dohey

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Name  Mary Dohey

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Mary Dohey, CV (22 September 1933 - 12 June 2017) was a Canadian flight attendant who was the first living person to receive the award Cross of Valour, Canada's highest award for bravery, for her conduct during the hijacking of a commercial DC-8 aircraft in 1971.

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At the risk of losing her life, Dohey declined an offer of a safe release from an Air Canada DC-8 to remain with her fellow crew members and pacify hijacker Paul Cini, on flight 812 from Calgary, Alberta on November 12, 1971. During eight hours of terror, the hijacker, with a black hood over his head, was armed with a shotgun and two bundles of dynamite. Mary had to hold on to the wires of the dynamite and not let them touch. Cini threatened to take the lives of the crew and all the passengers on board the airplane. Although continually threatened with the gun, Miss Dohey spoke to the aggressor and succeeded in discouraging him from undertaking violent measures which would have killed many people. When the aircraft was diverted and landed in Great Falls, Montana, she was able to persuade the hijacker to allow all the passengers and part of the crew, including herself, to disembark. With absolutely no assurance that she would come out of the ordeal alive and because of her concern for the welfare of the remaining crew members, Mary Dohey turned down the offer of release. The hijacker wanted $1.5 million. The plane landed and the demands were passed over. There was only $50,000 in that briefcase unknown to the hijacker. Mary continued to appease the hijacker until the drama was brought to an end.

Mary Dohey graduated years earlier as a psychiatric nurse and that training and experience proved invaluable. Because of the courage she displayed during the hijacking, Dohey was awarded the Cross of Valour in December 1975.

She is from a large family in St. Bride's, Newfoundland. She has many relatives spread out throughout Canada and spent many summers during her time off with her brother Harry Dohey and his family in Holyrood.

There is a merit award named in her honour, administered by the Friends of Cape St. Mary.

References

Mary Dohey Wikipedia


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