Alaska Coast Guardsmen Recognized for Heroism, Bravery

KODIAK, Alaska – Four Alaska-based Coast Guard personnel and one Canadian have been named as the 2007 Gold and Silver Medal recipients from the Association for Rescue at Sea.

Petty Officer 1st Class Wil Milam has been selected as the recipient of the Gold Medal for his involvement in the rescue of three crewmembers from the fishing vessel Illusion near Dutch Harbor Feb. 10, 2007. Milam is an aviation survival technician at Air Station Kodiak.

“Petty Officer Milam’s selection is very well deserved,” said Captain Andrew Berghorn, Commanding Officer of Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak. “He and the crew of Coast Guard helicopter 6525 went far beyond the normal call of duty in the rescue of four crew members from the fishing vessel Illusion.”

Alaska Coast Guard Auxiliarists Shane Taylor, Richard Liebe and Raymond Miller and Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliarist Michael Cupit are the recipients of the Silver Medal. On Apr. 25, 2007 they rescued 11 individuals form a sinking charter boat near Seldovia.

Twenty minutes after the distress call was received, the Auxiliary boat reached the vessel in distress. Eleven passengers and two crew were safely transferred aboard the Auxiliary vessel before the charter boat heeled over and sank.

The Gold Medal is presented annually to a Coast Guardsman who has demonstrated selfless courage and heroism during a rescue of life at sea. The Silver Medal is presented to a Coast Guard Auxiliarist for extraordinary bravery during a rescue at sea.

The recipients will be recognized during a reception in Washington D.C. Sept. 25, 2008.

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