Coast Guard to recognize 2 jet-boat operators for saving woman’s life at Niagara Whirlpool

Coast Guard District 9 NewsYOUNGSTOWN, N.Y. — The U.S. Coast Guard is scheduled to formally recognize the captain and crewmember of a Whirlpool Jet Boat Tours boat at 9 a.m. on Tuesday at Coast Guard Station Niagara in Youngstown for saving a woman from drowning in the Lower Niagara River in July.

Personnel from Coast Guard Sector Buffalo, N.Y., will present Corey Ziraldo, the boat’s captain, and Brittany Thompson, the crewmember, with the Captain David P. Dobbins Award for rescuing a woman who slipped on the rocks near the Niagara Whirlpool and was swept into the turbulent water of the lower Niagara River July 18, 2011.

While operating the tour boat, Ziraldo and Thompson noticed the woman in distress. Quickly maneuvering the jet boat into place, the good Samaritans were able to pull the unconscious woman onto the deck. Although she had been underwater for several minutes, they administered CPR and restored her pulse while racing to the Village of Lewiston Launch and Docks in Lewiston, N.Y. The woman was then transferred to Emergency Medical Services and made a full recovery.

The Captain David P. Dobbins Award is presented by the Coast Guard in recognition of outstanding action accomplished while conducting a search and rescue mission on the Great Lakes. Dobbins was appointed the first superintendent of the U.S. Lifesaving Service of the Great Lakes in 1876. He distinguished himself by performing and organizing numerous heroic rescues during his career. In memory of his heritage, initiative and dedication, the award is presented to individuals who perform distinguished search and rescue acts on the Great Lakes.

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