Coast Guard honors Kotzebue, Alaska, man with Silver Lifesaving Medal

Rear Adm. Matthew T. Bell, Commander, 17th Coast Guard District, presents the Silver Lifesaving Medal, Saturday, May 18, 2019, to George "Radar" Lambert for heroic actions he took as a young boy to save Pamela Smith (left) from drowning in Kotzebue, Alaska. Then 10-year-old Lambert saved 12-year-old Pamela Smith from drowning June 22, 1998, which was the first documented save using a lifejacket from the Kids Don't Float program. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Nate Littlejohn

Rear Adm. Matthew T. Bell, Commander, 17th Coast Guard District, presents the Silver Lifesaving Medal, Saturday, May 18, 2019, to George “Radar” Lambert for heroic actions he took as a young boy to save Pamela Smith (left) from drowning in Kotzebue, Alaska. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Nate Littlejohn

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — The Coast Guard presented the Silver Lifesaving Medal Saturday in Anchorage to a Kotzebue man for heroic actions he took as a young boy to save a girl from drowning in Kotzebue.

Then 10-year-old George “Radar” Lambert saved 12-year-old Pamela Smith from drowning in Kotzebue, June 22, 1998. This was the first documented save using a lifejacket from the Kids Don’t Float program which has been attributed to saving a total of 31 lives.

Smith, now Magistrate & Standing Master at Alaska Court System in Nome, gave an emotional speech where she thanked her long-time friend for the heroic actions he took as a young boy to save her life.

“I can’t think of a better way to kick off National Safe Boating Week, than to honor a hero who used a lifejacket to save his friend’s life,” said Rear Adm. Matthew T. Bell, Commander, 17th Coast Guard District.

The event coincided with the first day of National Safe Boating Week.

Coast Guard representatives, Alaska State Parks representatives and Gov. Mike Dunleavy attended the ceremony to honor Lambert, and to show support for National Safe Boating Week and the Kids Don’t Float program.


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