Coast Guard Auxiliary Boat Crew to Receive 2009 Association for Rescue at Sea Silver Medal

WOODS HOLE, Mass. – Four members of Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla 65 will receive the 2009 Association For Rescue At Sea (AFRAS) Silver Medal during a ceremony on September 30, 2010, in Washington D.C., for their rescue of three people while on patrol in Buzzards Bay.

Coast Guard AuxiliaryCoast Guard Auxiliarists Paul Sadeck, Leo Lake, Robert M. Joseph and Rodney Thomas were on patrol in Buzzards Bay aboard the Auxiliary Vessel Amy Julie on August 26, 2009, when they came upon a swamped fishing vessel with two people aboard and one of the victims unaccounted for.

The crew quickly assessed the risks and devised a plan to rescue the two persons and search for the still missing victim, despite operating in 5-foot seas and 25-knot winds. After several failed attempts to come along side the swamped vessel in the rolling seas, the Amy Julie crew threw life rings to the two men and swiftly pulled them to the boat. After listening to the rescued person’s accounts of the incident, the crew immediately recognized the potential location of the third person and headed southwest towards Bents Ledge buoy in Buzzards Bay. Displaying exceptional skill and determination in the face of challenging weather and sea conditions, the crew of the Amy Julie sighted a third person through the sea spray, and brought him safely aboard.

The crew quickly returned to port, where Fairhaven emergency response officials were waiting to render medical assistance. The coxswain and crew of the Auxiliary vessel Amy Julie demonstrated outstanding courage, professionalism and dedication as they saved the lives of three persons in perilous seas, bringing great credit on themselves, the Coast Guard Auxiliary, and the Coast Guard.

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