Brenda Cochrane: Scottish reality TV star ‘cheats death’ in cruise ship accident

Scottish reality TV star, Brenda Cochrane, has said that she has spent two years suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder after falling into a 35-foot chasm beneath the stage on a cruise ship.

Brenda, from Uddingston in Lanarkshire, shot to fame after winning TV talent show Opportunity Knocks in 1989 singing Frank Sinatra’s hit New York, New York.

Her first album went gold in 1990 and she spent the next thirty years touring the world with her music.

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Brenda fell after an accident on stage during rehearsals.Brenda fell after an accident on stage during rehearsals.
Brenda fell after an accident on stage during rehearsals.
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She was booked to perform on the Princess Regal cruise ship in 2017 when the incident happened.

While the vessel was docked at Copenhagen, she was rehearsing with the musicians when the special platform that moved the drums up and down from the stage plummeted, and her with it.

Brenda said: “I’m quite a level-headed person but it was honestly terrifying.

“Imagine those clips on the internet you see when someone unknowingly falls through the cellar hatch in a pub floor – well it was like that.

Brenda Cochrane.Brenda Cochrane.
Brenda Cochrane.

“Everyone around me couldn’t believe it.

“I was told I cheated death because I fell on the drum kit but if I landed a few inches to the right then I could have fallen a further 35 feet.”

Digby Brown Solicitors investigated Princess Cruises over Brenda’s accident and found the floor likely opened up because someone off-stage unknowingly pressed the controls for the drum kit platform.

Brenda suffered a back injury, whiplash injuries to her neck and deep tissue trauma to her right leg.

Brenda after the incident.Brenda after the incident.
Brenda after the incident.

She had to cancel her week of performances of the Princess Regal and has been unable to go near a stage since.

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She added: “It took a long time to recover physically from the injuries but I’m still haunted by nightmares and suffering from PTSD and all the anguish and trauma that brings.

“My voice remains okay but it’s the fear of actually walking on a stage that I now struggle with.

“The injuries were bad but not being able to perform was worse.

“I’ve worked on stages for most of my life but something like this has never happened.

“I now have this fear of performing again because my imagination just goes into overdrive and I start panicking about everything that could go wrong.

“Other people who’ve experienced a fright like this will know what it’s like. It’s like if you were bitten by a dog – the last thing you’d want is to go near another dog.

“I know I’m over the worst of it now and I’ve been speaking to professionals so hopefully I’ll be able to get passed it soon enough.”

Digby Brown also found there were inadequate risk assessments done and Princess Cruises paid Brenda an undisclosed sum in compensation.

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Mark Gibson, Head of the Foreign & Travel team at Digby Brown, said: “This was a traumatic experience for our client and she could very easily have been more seriously injured.

“We are pleased to have been able to support Brenda and we wish her all the best with her recovery.”

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