Coast Guard to Award Lifesaving Medals

PORTSMOUTH, Va. – The Coast Guard approved the award of Gold and Silver Lifesaving Medals to two men who participated in the heroic rescue of two young boys swept away in a riptide while swimming in the Outer Banks of North Carolina on July 24, 2006.

The recipients are Kevin Mark Emerson, and John M. Rosenberry, Sr. Presenting the award will be Capt. Wm. Dean Lee, Chief-of-Staff for the Seventh Coast Guard District in Miami. At the time of the rescue, Lee was the commanding officer of Coast Guard Sector North Carolina.

The ceremony will be held Friday, April 11, 2008, at the United Methodist Church located at 21721 Farmer’s Ln., in Jetersville, Va., at 3 p.m.

Emerson and Rosenberry rescued John Rosenberry, Jr., 8, and Joshua Bowman, 9, when they were caught in a riptide while swimming off Portsmouth Island, N.C., July 24, 2006. During the rescue, Emerson died, drowning as a result of exhaustion. Emerson entered the surf zone without regard for his personal safety to save his grandchildren. Rosenberry, Sr., followed and eventually pulled both of his sons ashore after Emerson saved them. Emerson succumbed to the waves shortly thereafter.

Emerson will be posthumously presented the Gold Lifesaving Medal. The Gold Lifesaving Medal and Silver Lifesaving Medal are awarded by the Commandant of the Coast Guard, to any person who rescues or endeavors to rescue any other person from drowning, shipwreck, or other perils of the water. If such rescue is made at the risk of one’s own life, and evidences extreme and heroic daring, the medal is gold. If such rescue or attempted rescue is not sufficiently distinguished to deserve the medal of gold, but evidences such extraordinary effort as to merit recognition, the medal shall be silver.

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