Coast Guard helps reunite rescuer and survivor 44 years later

5th Coast Guard District NewsOAK ISLAND, N.C. — Cindi Vance (Gregory) was reunited with her rescuer Monday during a ceremony held at Coast Guard Station Oak Island more than 44 years ago after she was rescued.

Vance was 12 years old when she was caught in an undertow at Yaupon Beach near Southport, North Carolina, July 3, 1970.

Vance was rescued by Petty Officer 1st Class David E. O’Neal and Petty Officer 1st Class Ronald D. Savage.

O’Neal met with Vance for the first time since the rescue, while Savage’s son, Ronald Savage Jr., stood in his late father’s stead and met Vance for the first time.

For photos of the reunion, click here.

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