SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. — The Coast Guard presented one of its highest awards, Friday, to a man who risked his life to save a man from cold waters in 2013.
Captain Steve Teschendorf, commander of Coast Guard Sector Sault Ste. Marie, presented Zoran Pedisic with the Silver Lifesaving Medal in a ceremony held at the Clure Public Marine Terminal in Duluth, Minnesota.
Pedisic, at 55 years of age, saved 90-year-old Bill Schowalter from drowning in the near-freezing waters in Duluth Harbor on the morning of November 1, 2013. Schowalter intentionally jumped into the water at the Arthur M. Clure Terminal, Berth 1 in a suicide attempt.
Pedisic, an employee of the Lake Superior Warehousing Company, notified his supervisor and then dove into the 41-degree water to assist Schowalter. Pedisic recovered Schowalter to the surface and swam him to a pier pile where he held him above water until help arrived. Steve Tuura, Jarrad Christianson and Tim Rogers, also employees at the Lake Superior Warehousing Company, assisted with removing Schowalter from the water.
Pedisic remained in the water with Schowalter despite suffering from the onset of exhaustion and hypothermia.
The Silver Lifesaving Medal was created by congress in 1874 and is awarded to people who endanger their own lives while saving or attempting to save another from drowning, a shipwreck or other perils of the water. The Coast Guard is the ultimate award authority for the Silver Lifesaving Medal and can award the decorations to members of all military branches as well as civilians.