AFRAS honors mariners for heroism at sea

The following is text of a news release from the Association for Rescue at Sea (AFRAS):

(NORFOLK, Va.) — Honorees from around the world will be on hand as the Association for Rescue at Sea holds its annual maritime search and rescue awards ceremony at the Rayburn House Office Building in Washington, D.C., on Thursday.

The U.S.-based nonprofit AFRAS annually honors heroic rescues at sea, from the previous calendar year, by individuals and crews from the U.S. Coast Guard and Coast Guard Auxiliary, cruise liners and commercial vessels. This year's honorees include:

• A U.S. Coast Guard helicopter rescue swimmer who saved 112 people in Texas after the devastation of Hurricane Harvey.
• A U.S. Coast Guard helicopter rescue swimmer who saved two people from a sailboat foundering in the outer bands of Hurricane Irma.
• U.S. Coast Guard auxiliarists who medevaced a severely injured man in Washington state.
• A containership crew who rescued 105 refugees off the coast of Libya.
• A Carnival Cruise Line crew who saved a mariner in the Gulf of Mexico during Hurricane Irma.
• The crew of an auto carrier ship who rescued six people from a disabled boat 275 miles southwest of Bermuda.
• A towboat captain who successfully searched for and rescue a man who had fallen overboard from his sailboat off California.

These heroic individuals and crews will be formally recognized during Thursday's ceremony, which is hosted by Rep. Jason Lewis, R-Minn., and is coordinated by the board and officers of AFRAS. The commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard, as well as other senior maritime and congressional officials, will also attend.

AFRAS helps protect mariners from the perils of the sea by providing monetary and in-kind donations to world volunteer maritime search and rescue organizations. The charity also recognizes and honors extraordinary maritime rescues through its awards program and annual ceremony. AFRAS is a 501(c)3 nonprofit charity.

By Professional Mariner Staff