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"A PERSON THAT SAVED AT LEAST ONE LIFE WAS NOT BORN FOR NOTHING"

My family

 

My wife – Irena van der Coghen (called Szarotka) – the bravest, greatest and most unique woman in the whole world, with a heart of gold and a rebellious soul.

Professional mountain rescuer, mountain guide, sport and survival instructor, mountaineer, skier, diver, driver of off-road cars, quads and snowmobiles. Handler of a search and rescue dog called Norton.

For her outstanding achievements in mountain rescue President Aleksander Kwaśniewski awarded her the Order of Polonia Restituta. The Sejmik of the Silesian Voivodship awarded her Złota Honorowa Odznaka Zasłużony dla Województwa Śląskiego (Golden Honorary Award for Special Merits for the Silesian Voivodship) and the mountain rescue board in Zakopane Złota Honorowa Odznaka (mountain rescue’s Golden Honorary Award) and Zasłużony dla Ratownictwa Górskiego (Award for Special Merits in Mountain Rescue). 

For more than 40 years of working with children ( healthy and disabled ) and with young people , awarded the Medal of the National Education.


Apart from that, a poet, a practitioner of alternative medicine (she conducts therapeutic Tibetan bowl massage) and a master of Kresy (east Polish borderlands) cuisine (like my late mother-in-law -champion kitchen Lvov and Borderlands).

The owner of the VANCROLL School of Survival, Skiing and Mountaineering.

The mother of my three children: Michał, Adam and Nicole, grandmother of our two granddaughters: Olivia and Pola.

 

 

   

My older son – Michał van der Coghen (called Tiger)

Senior mountain rescue instructor, MA of Physical Education, paramedic and medical instructor, skiing and survival instructor, scuba diver, speleologist, mountaineer, karate fighter, polar explorer, hang-glider, sailor, experienced driver of off-road cars, quads and snowmobiles. Expert witness for safety and accidents in tourism and mountain sports. Participant of many rescue operations in the mountains and during natural and other disasters.

Long-term head of the Medical Service of the Jura Group of Mountain Rescue.

For risking life to save others he was twice awarded Medal za Ofiarność i Odwagę (Medal for Sacrifice and Courage) by President Aleksander Kwaśniewski and President Lech Kaczyński and Złota Honorowa Odznaka  (Mountain Rescue Golden Honorary Award) by the Mountain Rescue’s board in Zakopane. In 2014 the Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski Awarded him the Gold Cross of Merit and the Minister in the Ministry of Internal Affairs Teresa Piotrowska : honorary badges of Merit for Fire Protection.

Apart from that, a passionate photographer, an academic lecturer in emergency medicine, the owner of REMEX centre of training and medical equipment.

Father of Olivia.

   

My daughter-in-law – Anna van der Coghen (called Kolorado), Tiger’s wife.

Co-founder of the Jurajskie Ochotnicze Pogotowie Ratunkowe and Jura Group of Mountain Rescue.

Mountain voluntary rescuer, skier, climber, scuba diver, experienced mountaineer. Survival instructor.

Apart from that, a graduate of the University of Economics and an expert on economy. A charming young lady with a mathematical mind, a finance director in international corporations.

Just like her extraordinary parents, extremely hard-working.

Mother of Olivia.

   

My younger son – Adam van der Coghen (called Adler).

Senior mountain rescue instructor, MA of Physical Education, paramedic, skiing and survival instructor, scuba diver, karate fighter, speleologist, mountaineer, sailor and professional driver; quads, motorcycles, snowmobiles and off-road cars driving instructor. Long-term handler of mountain search and rescue dogs: Haker, Hugar and Camel. Participant and coordinator of many rescue operations in the mountains and during natural and other disasters.

Long-term head of training in the Jura Group of Mountain Rescue; since 2007 Head of the Jura Group of Mountain Rescue.

For risking life to save others he was twice awarded Medal za Ofiarność i Odwagę (Medal for Sacrifice and Courage) by President Aleksander Kwaśniewski and President Lech Kaczyński and Złota Honorowa Odznaka (Mountain Rescue’s Golden Honorary Award) by the Mountain Rescue’s board in Zakopane.

Apart from that, a successful player of pool and great guitarist.

Father of Pola.

   

My daughter-in-law – Alicja van der Coghen (called Alik), Adler’s wife.

Voluntary rescuer in the Jura Group of Mountain Rescue, skier, climber and speleologist. BLS/AED resuscitation instructor.

For risking life to save others she was awarded Medal za Ofiarność i Odwagę (Medal for Sacrifice and Courage) by President Lech Kaczyński.

A unique combination of beauty, intelligence, charm and courage in one person.

Apart from that, a graduate of Political Sciences, journalist, TV presenter (TVS).

Mother of Pola.

   

My daughter – Nicole van der Coghen

She was born handicapped, with Down syndrome. She doesn’t know what time, day or month it is. She is not able to count or read and she never will. She has problems with eyesight, overweight and formulating her thoughts. She can’t function without help, but she is cheerful, loves listening to music as well as dancing and singing, in her own way. We teach her to swim and ride a special, three-wheeled bicycle. Nicole loves forest, all the animals and birds. Her favourites are our search and rescue dogs that, surprisingly, always listen to her.