Association for Rescue at Sea to recognize heroism

(WASHINGTON, DC — September 6, 2007) The Association for Rescue at Sea (AFRAS) will honor Coast Guardsmen Joshua H. Mitchelltree and David Ramsey with gold medals for heroic actions during rescues they made last year.

The association will also honor Harold T. Robinson, a U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliarist, and the captain and crew of MV Patagonia for rescues that they performed.

Mitcheltree will be awarded the gold medal for his actions while serving as a rescue swimmer aboard a Coast Guard helicopter on April 29, 2006. During a search-and-rescue operation involving a 60-foot sailing vessel beset by severe weather and drifting dangerously close to shoals, Mitcheltree swam the victims one at a time in total darkness through the 25-foot seas to an area where they could be hoisted to safety.
Ramsey will receive the gold medal for his performance aboard a Coast Guard motor lifeboat during the rescue of the 50-foot fishing vessel Cathrine M on  Jan. 15, 2006.  As the disabled vessel drifted towards the breaking surf in Peacock Spit near the  Columbia River Bar, Ramsey and his crew were able to tow the vessel and its three passengers out of danger. 

The silver medal will be awarded to Robinson for heroism  on Aug. 26, 2006. Robinson demonstrated superior boat handling skills during the rescue of a family that was in a 19-foot powered canoe that  capsized in rough seas while crossing the Delaware River.
The captain and crew of MV Patagonia, a 580-foot bulk carrier, will receive the Amver plaque for aiding in the rescue of the crew of the 492-foot car carrier Dayana on Aug. 10 2006.  The eight-person crew abandoned the sinking ship and took to a life raft, which Patagonia discovered 115 miles off the coast of Columbia. A quick response led to the rescue of all eight people in the life raft.
AFRAS will hold the annual award ceremony and reception on Oct. 2, 2007, in Washington, D.C. 
The gold medal is presented annually to an enlisted member of the U.S. Coast Guard for an act of extraordinary bravery during a rescue at sea. The silver medal is presented to a Coast Guard Auxiliarist.  The Amver award was established in 1996 to recognize the contribution of seamen in ships at sea to the safety of their fellow mariners.

By Professional Mariner Staff