SEATTLE — A Coast Guard boat crew was recognized during a ceremony at Coast Guard Station Neah Bay Friday for rescuing three fishermen after their vessel capsized near Strawberry Rock in Makah Bay in April.
Petty Officer 1st Class Matthew Staton, Petty Officer 3rd Class Josh Shubin and Petty Officer 3rd Class Corey Castillo, boat crew members at Station Neah Bay, were awarded the Commandant’s Letter of Commendation Ribbon for saving three fishermen from the water and treating them for symptoms of hypothermia in the April 18 case.
Capt. Joe Raymond, commander, Coast Guard Sector Puget Sound, and Master Chief Petty Officer Richard Evans, command master chief, Sector Puget Sound, presented the award, citing the 47-foot Motor Life Boat crew members for outstanding performance of duty during the rescue.
Two of the three survivors also attended the ceremony to meet the crew for the first time since the rescue and express their appreciation. Their 21-foot vessel was reportedly capsized after two rogue waves, one estimated to be 25 feet tall, hit them while they were lingcod fishing near Strawberry Rock.
John Waring, the vessel’s captain, reported he had about six seconds to make the distress radio call that lead rescuers to the boat’s location.
“My VHF radio is always keyed to channel 16,” Waring said. “I knew I had to make the call or it would be over. Without good radio discipline or the situational awareness to provide our location that quickly, we wouldn’t have had a chance.”
The men were reportedly in the 52-degree water for 70 minutes when the boat crew from Coast Guard Station Neah Bay arrived on scene. All men were reportedly suffering from signs of hypothermia when they were transferred to emergency medical responders waiting at the station.
To read the original story of the rescue, click here.