Coast Guard to recognize civilians for saving 4 lives after aircraft crash in August

DETROIT — The U.S. Coast Guard is scheduled to formally recognize four professional mariners Friday in Port Clinton, Ohio, for saving four people after their aircraft experienced engine trouble on approach to Put-in-Bay Airport and crashed into the water in Lake Erie on Aug. 13.

During the ceremony, Capt. Jeff Ogden, commander of Coast Guard Sector Detroit, will present the Captain David P. Dobbins Award for excellence in search and rescue to the captain and crew of the vessel William Market: Steve Rose, Greg Johnson, Bernie Wise and Jacob Market.

The Captain David P. Dobbins Award is presented in recognition of outstanding actions accomplished while prosecuting search and rescue missions on the Great Lakes. It links the outstanding performance of today to the heritage of Dobbins, the first superintendent of the U.S. Lifesaving Service’s Great Lakes Ninth District in 1876. Dobbins, a native of Erie, Pa., and a schooner master, distinguished himself by performing and organizing heroic rescue efforts for the schooner Oneida in 1853, the schooner Comet in 1860, and many others even before the Lifesaving Service was officially established.

Interested in improving early rescue craft and solving the problems stemming from arduous rescue duties, Dobbins developed an innovative lifeboat that was self-righting, self-bailing, and less than half the weight of earlier designs. The Dobbins lifeboat was quicker, more maneuverable, and cost less than half of other rescue craft at the time, and elements of his design remain incorporated into today’s rescue craft.

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