Coast Guard presents public service award to heroic Washington State Ferry crew

SEATTLE – Rear Adm. Gary T. Blore, Thirteenth Coast Guard District Commander, presented the Public Service Commendation to three crewmembers the of Washington State Ferry Spokane in Seattle, Tuesday.

“I believe the humanitarian search and rescue mission of the Coast Guard to be one of our service’s greatest contributions to the American public. It is truly noteworthy when civilians are able to assist us with aiding those in distress. It is a great honor to recognize Capt. Tullis and his crew today. They heroically put service before self, underscoring a maritime tradition of aiding those in distress,” said Blore.

The crew, Capt. John Tullis, Boatswain Seth Hamlin and Able Seaman Marjorie Ess received a report of a diver in distress at a dive park located near Edmonds Ferry Terminal. Within five minutes they launched a rescue boat and recovered a motionless female diver. Crewmembers proceeded to the beach while performing CPR on the blue and unresponsive woman. As a result of their efforts, the woman expelled the water and began breathing.

Crewmembers then responded to a second distressed diver and were able to assist and transport him to shore. Both assisted people may not have survived if not for the fast response of Capt. Tullis and his crew.

“I just wanted to recognize how important it was to have the right crew and training come together for a positive outcome,” said Tullis.

“I applaud the efforts of the entire crew of the Spokane for their quick thinking, professionalism and courage,” said David Moseley, Assistant Secretary for Washington State Ferries. “I would also like to thank our safety and security partners in the U.S. Coast Guard for the work that they do to keep our 23 million annual passengers safe.”

The Public Service Commendation recognizes personal and beneficial contributions to the Coast Guard’s responsibilities. Recipients are recognized for courage or initiative in advancing one or more Coast Guard missions.

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