CG Auxiliary Crew to Receive Medal for Daring Rescue

Four members of Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla 65 will receive the 2009 Association For Rescue At Sea (AFRAS) Silver Medal during a ceremony on September 30, 2010, in Washington D.C., for their rescue of 3 people while on patrol in Buzzards Bay, Massachusetts. Coast Guard Auxiliarists Paul Sadeck, Leo Lake, Robert M. Joseph and Rodney Thomas were on patrol in Buzzards Bay aboard the Auxiliary Vessel Amy Julie on August 26, 2009, when they came upon a swamped fishing vessel with 2 people aboard and one of the victims unaccounted for.

The crew quickly assessed the risks and devised a plan to rescue the 2 persons and search for the missing boater, despite 5-foot seas and 25-knot winds. After several failed attempts to come alongside the swamped vessel in the rolling seas, the crew threw life rings to the 2 men and swiftly pulled them to the boat.

After listening to the rescued persons’ accounts of the incident, the crew immediately recognized the potential location of the third person and headed southwest towards Bents Ledge buoy in Buzzards Bay. Displaying exceptional skill and determination in the face of challenging weather and sea conditions, the crew of the Amy Julie sighted the third person and brought him safely aboard.

The crew quickly returned to port, where Fairhaven emergency response officials were waiting to render medical assistance.