Coast Guard to present Public Service Commendations to LDWF

New Orleans – The Eight Coast Guard District is scheduled to present Coast Guard Public Service Commendations to members of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division on Monday. The recipients of the awards are being honored for distinguished actions that promoted maritime safety and lifesaving during the Oct. 17-18, 2009, rescue of four people from a capsized vessel in Lake Pontchartrain.

LDWF recipients include:

  • Senior Agent Richard Clark
  • Senior Agent Lee Davis
  • Senior Agent Keith Francis
  • Sgt. Darryl Galloway
  • Lt. Ed Laviolette

These recipients are cited for their partnership with the U.S. Coast Guard and the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office, which resulted in saving the lives of two children and two adults. Due to their efforts, a local Louisiana man, his 13-year-old and five-year-old sons and his 72-year-old uncle were brought to safe refuge after spending hours in frigid waters with five-to-six-foot seas and winds up to 52 mph.

A multi-unit, multi-agency search and rescue mission launched to search for the four people that were displaced from their 17-foot pleasure craft. After nine hours of searching, the local Louisiana man and his 13 and 5-year-old sons were located. After spending the night in the frigid waters of Lake Pontchartrain, the 72-year-old uncle was found the following day by LDWF agents floating miles from where the other three were found. All four were wearing life jackets and despite their hypothermic conditions were alive. With the assistance and coordination of the Louisiana Dept. of Wildlife and Fisheries members, the four were safely transported using different assets to awaiting emergency medical service units.

As a result of the diligent and cooperative efforts, all four miraculously survived despite severe weather and hypothermic conditions.

The Coast Guard’s Public Service Awards recognize private citizens, groups or organizations for helping the Coast Guard carry out its missions. The awards serve to both recognize those who have helped the Coast Guard and to encourage others in a position to contribute.

The criteria for the Public Service Commendation are:

  • Courage or initiative in advancing one or more Coast Guard missions.
  • Beneficial contribution that may have affected the Coast Guard in only one mission area or a limited geographical area.

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