Rear Adm. Austin presents Gold Lifesaving Medal replicas at ceremony on Harkers Island, NC

Retired U.S. Life-Saving Serviceman and U.S. Coast Guard Senior Chief Petty Officer Ira Lewis shares stories of patrolling beaches during World War II with Coast Guard Lt. j.g. William O’Connor and Chief Warrant Officer Greg Gage at the Core Sound Waterfowl Museum and Heritage Center on Harkers Island, North Carolina, Feb. 11, 2017. The men attended a ceremony during which replicas of Gold Lifesaving Medals were presented to the descendants of nine U.S. Life-Saving Servicemen who rescued six men from the schooner Sarah D. J. Rawson off Cape Lookout on Feb. 9, 1905. (U.S. Coast Guard Photo by Coast Guard Chief Petty Officer John D. Miller/Released)

Retired U.S. Life-Saving Serviceman and U.S. Coast Guard Senior Chief Petty Officer Ira Lewis shares stories of patrolling beaches during World War II with Coast Guard Lt. j.g. William O’Connor and Chief Warrant Officer Greg Gage at the Core Sound Waterfowl Museum and Heritage Center on Harkers Island, North Carolina, Feb. 11, 2017. (U.S. Coast Guard Photo by Coast Guard Chief Petty Officer John D. Miller)

HARKERS ISLAND, N.C. — U.S. Coast Guard Rear Adm. Meredith Austin, commander, 5th Coast Guard District, presented replicas of Gold Lifesaving Medals to descendants of U.S. Life-Saving Servicemen at the Core Sound Waterfowl Museum and Heritage Center on Harkers Island, Feb. 11, 2017.

The replicas were presented to descendants of the nine U.S. Life-Saving Service crewmen who performed a 28-hour-long rescue of six men from the schooner Sarah D. J. Rawson off Cape Lookout on Feb. 9, 1905.

Austin, U.S. Rep. Walter B. Jones, Jr., R-N.C., and local historian Jim Thompson spoke to family members and residents about the significance of the medals, of which only 275 have ever been awarded.

The U.S. government asked the U.S. Life-Saving Service crew to return their original medals during World War II to support the war effort. Thompson’s research led Jones to contact the Coast Guard to have the replicas made for their descendants.  

For more information about the 1905 rescue, click here.

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