SEATTLE – The Coast Guard awarded the Silver Life Saving Medal to Tom R. Broselle, and the Meritorious Public Service Award to Jacob Broselle and Thomas M. Broselle, during a presentation held at Coast Guard Station Bellingham, Tuesday.
They were awarded for their heroic efforts on Aug. 28, 2015, where the Broselle family, while checking crab pots off Cherry Point on the stormy afternoon, found five people in the water next to a capsized pleasure craft and immediately rendered assistance to the distressed boaters.
Kristen Pietig, her brother, 12, daughter, 9, and father, Michael Peterson, 73, clung to the side of their 13-foot dingy. Kristen’s second daughter, Ashley, 6, was stuck underneath the boat.
Coming alongside the capsized boat, Thomas, 12, and his brother, Jacob, 14, grabbed hold of the vessel to maintain stability while their father dove into the water, locating and freeing Ashley from ropes that were tangled around her chest and legs.
The three of them systematically and calmly removed all four of the remaining subjects from the water.
Once safely aboard the Broselle’s 21-foot boat, they went to shore where local paramedics were waiting. Peterson was taken to the hospital and treated for aspiration pneumonia. The others had no significant injuries.
“The Silver Life Saving award is not given out lightly and we are honored and pleased to recognize this family with such a prestigious award,” said Lt. Cmdr. Jason Hagen, chief of the Incident Management Division at Coast Guard Sector Puget Sound. “We’re very fortunate we have people like the Broselle family out there keeping a wide eye open on the water.”
With the immense bravery and selfless actions these three displayed, five lives were saved.