Coast Guard Air Station Traverse City crew receives Navy League award

GLENVIEW, Ill. – A helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station Traverse City, Mich., was honored, Sunday, by the Glenview Council of the Navy League.

The crew, Lt. John McWilliams, Lt. Jeremy Loeb, Petty Officer 2nd Class Mark Petre, and Petty Officer 3rd Class Chris Bemis received the Past Presidents’ Award for rescuing seven people from a charter boat that sank in Lake Michigan.

On May 30, 2008, the 36-foot charter vessel, Fin Seeker, sank more than three miles east of Waukegan, Ill.

All seven people aboard were safely rescued from the frigid water by an Air Facility Waukegan, Ill., HH-65C helicopter and a Coast Guard Station Kenosha, Wis., 41-foot utility boat.

The survivors were transported to area hospitals where they were treated for hypothermia and subsquently released.

The crew was presented a trophy, that accompanied the award, at the Navy League’s annual meeting and awards dinner at the Glenview Park Center. The Navy League of the United States is a non-profit organization dedicated to educating citizens about the importance of sea power to U.S. national security.

The Coast Guard operates Air Facility Waukegan annually from Memorial Day to Labor day. Helicopter crews are deployed to the air facility from Air Station Traverse City and are responsible for search and rescue response and Homeland Security missions from Sheboygan, Wis., south to the Chicago metropolitan area of Lake Michigan.

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