Captain Les Trafford, owner of Sea Tow Shinnecock/Moriches in New York, was presented with a distinguished Life Saving Award from C-PORT (Conference of Professional Operators for Response Towing) and AFRAS (Association For Rescue At Sea) during the 27th C-PORT Conference.
Trafford was recognized for his actions on the afternoon of May 12, 2013, when he was notified that a 45’ trawler, the Pauline IV, had capsized on a sandbar in Shinnecock Inlet, Long Island, with 2 persons aboard.
Trafford negotiated the inlet’s 6’ to 12’ seas and, with the help of a Suffolk County Police helicopter crew, located the crewman of the trawler. After clipping a life ring to his towline, he maneuvered his boat to within 10’ of the deckhand, who was able to grab the ring, allowing Trafford to pull him to his boat.
Trafford and the deckhand continued to search for the Pauline’s captain, but finished their efforts when relieved by the Coast Guard. The captain’s body was later was recovered.