Coast Guard honors cargo ship crew for lifesaving effort

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The following is the text of a news release from the U.S. Coast Guard:

(MILWAUKEE) — The Coast Guard presented the crew of the cargo ship Joseph L. Block with a lifesaving award in Sturgeon Bay, Wis., on Saturday.

Capt. Amy Cocanour, the Coast Guard Sector Lake Michigan commander, presented the Capt. David P. Dobbins Award to Raymond Sheldon, Thomas Garvey, David Schwarz, Keith Breyfogle, Basil Friend, Joyce Greenisen, Aaron Vonsprechen, Stephen Kowalski, Michelle Fetterly, Betty Benish, Guy Curtis, Roger Long, Carlos Ledezma, Kyle Long, Jeffrey Thompson, David Morrow, Nicholas McCall, Larry Noirot, Glenn Woodford, Ronald Fey, David Deverin, Shawn Bowman, and Gary Warner for their role in saving the life of a boater in Lake Michigan in August 2015.

The Capt. David P. Dobbins Award recognizes outstanding action accomplished while conducting a search-and-rescue mission on the Great Lakes.

The crew of the 714-foot cargo ship diverted from its course to respond to a sinking 28-foot vessel 10 miles off of Port Washington, Wis., on Aug. 24, 2015. The crew hoisted the lone boater out of the frigid Lake Michigan water and safely onto Joseph L. Block, where the man was soon assisted by members of the Coast Guard and Ozaukee County Marine Division.

“Despite its commercial endeavors, the crew showed initiative and dedication by saving the life of a fellow Great Lakes mariner, upholding the legacy of Capt. Dobbins,” said Cocanour.

Capt. David P. Dobbins was the first superintendent of the U.S. Lifesaving Service of the Great Lakes, and distinguished himself by performing and organizing numerous heroic rescues during his career. In memory of his heritage, initiative and dedication, the award is presented to individuals who perform distinguished search-and-rescue acts on the Great Lakes.

After the presentation, Cocanour introduced a representative from Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson’s office to share a letter he wrote to the crew honoring them for their role in the rescue.

By Professional Mariner Staff