Station Cape Charles petty officer receives Coast Guard’s coxswain of the year award

5th Coast Guard District News
CAPE CHARLES, Va. – Coast Guard Petty Officer First Class James Ballard received the Cmdr. Ray Evans Outstanding Coxswain Trophy Friday at Coast Guard Station Cape Charles.

The trophy is annually awarded to the Coast Guard’s best boat driver for sustained superior performance, exceptional boat handling skills and exemplary leadership.

“It’s an honor for him but also for me to have him here,” said his supervisor at Station Cape Charles, Chief Petty Officer Justin Uyttewaal. “He is a dedicated and hard-working individual that continually hones his skills to be the best he can be. I am very proud of what he’s done.”

Among other achievements, Ballard received the award for his role in saving two crewmen from the 75-foot fishing vessel Mandy Lee on the night of Dec. 5, 2010. While at the helm of a Coast Guard 41-foot Utility Boat, he navigated it through 8-foot waves and rapidly deteriorating weather conditions to rescue the two men from their sinking vessel.

“It’s important for all boaters to keep an eye on the weather forecast,” Ballard advised. “Not just what is happening when they leave the dock, but also what the weather is supposed to do later, so they can make it back safely, too.”

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