Coast Guard to present Silver Lifesaving Medal

SEATTLE – Rear Admiral John P. Currier, Commander, 13th Coast Guard District, will present the Silver Lifesaving Medal to Petty Officer 1st Class Truman N. Skang, a native of Palau, for his heroic actions on the evening of July 20, 2008 at a ceremony Wednesday morning.

Skang rescued a man from a vehicle that had plunged into Puget Sound from the Des Moines Marina in Des Moines, Wash. After the vehicle smashed through a barrier of the marina parking lot and plummeted into the water, Skang and several Good Samaritans immediately dove into the water and swam out to the car to assist.

After attempting to smash through the front windshield, and as the vehicle began sinking, Skang successfully opened the driver side window and worked the driver free. With the vehicle submerged and continuing to sink Skang braced his feet against the vehicle and pulled the driver through the window to safety on the surface. The driver was then brought to the shore and treated by emergency medical personnel. Tragically, a passenger and her dog died in the accident.

The Silver Lifesaving Medal was created by congress in 1874 and 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.

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