Coast Guard presents Public Service Commendation Awards

8th Coast Guard District NewsPITTSBURGH — The Coast Guard presented the Public Service Commendation Award to two members of Shelly & Sands Inc., during an official ceremony, Thursday.

Rear Adm. Roy A. Nash, commander of the 8th Coast Guard District, presented the awards to Frank Simon and Mark Haverty for their heroic actions while operating a vessel near the Pike Island Lock and Dam. Simon and Haverty assisted a 46-year-old dock-loading foreman who had become stranded on a breakaway barge that became adrift on a disastrous trackline headed toward the Pike Island Lock and Dam, April 13, 2011.

“These rivermen put their own lives at risk to help one of their own facing grim odds as he approached the lock and dam,” said Cmdr. Richard Timme, commanding officer of Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Pittsburgh. “Their selfless actions helped prevent a tragedy, and for that, we are all truly grateful.”

Simon and Haverty boarded a towing vessel, the Scott Richard, and raced toward the uncontrolled barge, the Bonnie C. Their efforts were instrumental in maneuvering the Bonnie C toward the shoreline while fighting the abnormally rapid river current, which was three-times the normal flow due to high water. As a result, they slowed the movement of the vessel to allow time for another vessel to assist.

Both are recognized for their courageous display of selfless dedication to the preservation of life. The award cited their remarkable initiative and fortitude in saving a man in danger of losing his life.

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