Coast Guardsmen receive award from Rancho Palos Verdes for cliff assist

SAN PEDRO, Calif. – Three Coast Guardsmen from Air Station Los Angeles received Hero Awards from the Mayor of Rancho Palos Verdes, Larry Clark, Tuesday for their efforts in the hoisting of an elderly man from the base of a cliff near Golden cove June 1st.

The three off-duty Coast Guardsmen, Petty Officer 3rd Class Gabriel Humphrey, an aviation survival technician, Petty Officer 1st Class Bradford Young, an avionics electrical technician and Petty Officer 2nd Class Mitch Latta, an aviation survival technician, were preparing for recreational diving at Golden Cove when they witnessed the elderly man fall.

The off-duty personnel contacted the Command Center at Sector Los Angeles – Long Beach which diverted the HH-65C Dolphin helicopter that was already in the air for a routine training mission when the incident occurred. The Dolphin helicopter lowered a basket to the beach where the individual was loaded into the basket and hoisted into the helicopter.

The helicopter transported the patient to the UCLA Harbor General Hospital where he was transferred to local medical personnel. The man was hospitalized, and then released.

“I felt lucky to be there at the time because that’s what we do,” said Humphrey. “We’re trained to help people. We got lucky. He got lucky.”

“I grew up in Rancho Palos Verdes, and it’s nice to be back and be able to help someone from where I grew up,” Young said.

Capt. Salvatore Palmeri, the commanding officer of Air Station Los Angeles, was there to join in honoring the Coast Guard recipients.

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