Sector Seattle Coast Guardsman receives Silver Lifesaving Medal

SEATTLE – Petty Officer Truman N. Skang, an electrician’s mate at Sector Seattle, received the Silver Lifesaving Medal from Rear Adm. John P. Currier, Commander, 13th Coast Guard District, at a ceremony held at Sector Seattle, today.

Skang received the medal for his actions on June 20, 2008 at the Des Moines Marina in Des Moines, Wash., when a motorist mistakenly drove his car into Puget Sound.

Skang, off-duty at the time, and several Good Samaritans immediately entered the water and swam to the car to assist. After attempting to smash through the front windshield, and as the vehicle began sinking, Skang successfully opened the driver side window and worked the driver free. With the vehicle submerged and continuing to sink Skang braced his feet against the vehicle and pulled the driver through the window to safety on the surface. The driver was then brought to the shore and treated by emergency medical personnel. Tragically, a passenger and her dog died in the accident.

The Silver Lifesaving Medal was created by Congress in 1874 and is awarded to people who endanger their own lives while saving or attempting to save another from drowning, a shipwreck or other perils of the water. The Coast Guard is the ultimate award authority for the Silver Lifesaving Medal and can award the decoration to members of all military branches as well as civilians.

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