Coast Guard awards 2 service members with Air Medals

Coast Guard Air Station San Francisco crew members stand at attention during an award ceremony at the air station, Oct. 30, 2019. Coast Guard members were awarded prestigious medals for their heroism and meritorious achievement in a search and rescue case and a hurricane response. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Taylor Bacon)

Coast Guard Air Station San Francisco crew members stand at attention during an award ceremony at the air station, Oct. 30, 2019.  (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Taylor Bacon)

SAN FRANCISCO — The Coast Guard awarded two Air Medals to crew members in San Francisco Wednesday for rescues completed and lives saved.

A Coast Guard Air Medal was presented to Lt. Cmdr. Michael Dubinsky, an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter pilot stationed at Coast Guard Air Station San Francisco, for rescuing two people from a sinking boat approximately three miles off the coast of Año Nuevo State Park on April 18. The remainder of the crew, Lt. Wesley Figaro and Petty Officer 2nd Class Michael Broadstreet, were each awarded Coast Guard Commendation Medals for their role in the rescue during the ceremony.

Dubinsky piloted an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter through thick fog with limited visibility and had to use direction-finding equipment to assist in locating the crew members aboard the Never Say Never, a 57-foot Chris-craft, that was taking on water.


The poor visibility and thick fog increased the time spent searching for the Never Say Never and by the time the Dolphin crew was able to rescue both mariners from the boat, they had become critically low on fuel which necessitated an emergency landing in a remote parking lot, followed by the aircrew vectoring in emergency medical services personnel to their location.

The original story regarding the rescue off Año Nuevo State Park can be found here.

“It was very challenging on everyone in that aircraft whether it was the copilot, myself, the flight mechanic in the back or the rescue swimmer going down to those individuals,” said Dubinsky. “For us, it was challenging up front because there was really no visual reference for us to be hovering on except the boat that was sinking. Everything else was a big gray picture for us.”

A second Coast Guard Air Medal was presented to Petty Officer 2nd Class Daniel Gossage, an aviation survival technician at Air Station San Francisco, for helping save 78 people during his deployment in support of Hurricane Harvey in late August 2017.

During Gossage’s deployment, he logged more than 30 hours of flight time rescuing stranded residents from their homes, rooftops and contaminated floodwater. Gossage was part of the first aircrew to arrive in Houston, where he responded to an industrial warehouse helping to hoist 36 people who were stranded amongst rising floodwaters.
Additionally, Gossage triaged patients to ensure that people who needed medical assistance the most where taken to the hospital first and provided immediate first aid to those he rescued during the transit to further medical treatment.

“Today it felt really good to be presented the award for doing my job and serving the public in their time of need in emergency situations,” said Gossage.


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