Coast Guard to present Public Service Commendation Awards for rescue at Pike Island Lock and Dam

8th Coast Guard District NewsST. LOUIS — The Coast Guard will present the Public Service Commendation Award to three members of Campbell Transportation Company during an official ceremony, Tuesday.

Cmdr. Richard Timme, commanding officer of Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Pittsburgh, will present the awards to Capt. Mike Johnston, Zach Watson and Steve Ritchea for the rescue of a man aboard a breakaway barge near the Pike Island Lock and Dam on April 13, 2011.

Johnston, master of the vessel Bonnie C, intercepted a breakaway barge and pushed it away from the dam. Ritchea and Watson, deckhands aboard the Bonnie C, prepared the vessel’s towing gear in an effort to intercept the barge. All three were able to bring the barge and the stranded man to safety within seconds of entering the restricted area of the lock and dam.

Johnston, Watson and Ritchea are being recognized for their courageous display of selfless dedication to the preservation of life. The award cites their remarkable initiative and fortitude in saving the life of a man who could have potentially been lost.

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