Coast Guard presents Silver Lifesaving Medal to former Cape May, NJ, resident

5th Coast Guard District News
CAPE MAY, N.J. — The Coast Guard presented the Silver Lifesaving Medal to Jonathan Alexander Saturday at 11 a.m. at Coast Guard Station Cape May, New Jersey, for saving the life of a fellow mariner in 2013.

Jonathan Alexander listens as Lt. Scott Farr, the commanding officer of Coast Guard Station Cape May, N.J., reads a citation before Capt. Kathy Moore, the commander of Coast Guard Sector Delaware Bay, in Philadelphia, presents Alexander with the Silver Lifesaving Medal, Saturday, July 5, 2014, in Cape May. Alexander jumped from his fishing boat into the ocean April 4, 2013, and saved Christopher Serra from drowning. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Angela Bellew

Jonathan Alexander listens as Lt. Scott Farr, the commanding officer of Coast Guard Station Cape May, N.J., reads a citation before Capt. Kathy Moore, the commander of Coast Guard Sector Delaware Bay, in Philadelphia, presents Alexander with the Silver Lifesaving Medal, Saturday, July 5, 2014, in Cape May. Alexander jumped from his fishing boat into the ocean April 4, 2013, and saved Christopher Serra from drowning. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Angela Bellew

Alexander, a former resident of Cape May, was aboard the fishing boat Sandra Lee in the Delaware Bay at about 8:30 a.m., April 4, 2013, when he heard a distress hail over the VHF-FM radio reporting a man in the water, nearby where Alexander and his crew were fishing.

Upon locating the debris field of the overturned fishing boat, Linda Claire, Alexander saw Christopher Serra in the 44-degree water. Alexander made several attempts to throw a life ring to Serra, who was physically unable to grab and hold onto the life ring due to being mildly hypothermic.

Alexander then jumped into the water, swam approximately 30 feet to where Serra was two feet below the surface, retrieved him and placed him into a rescue hold, and brought him to the surface.

The crew of Sandra Lee provided Serra first aid and transferred him to an awaiting Coast Guard Station Cape May small-boat crew for further medical attention and transfer to emergency medical services personnel.

The Silver Lifesaving Medal 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.

Click the photo for more from the ceremony.

The original news article with pictures can be read  here.

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