The Bounty master’s attitude and appreciation of a hurricane’s wrath are exceedingly far from my own
Mariners are part of a separate and unique community. When a vessel goes down and souls are lost, we mourn a little differently than most of our brethren who are tied to the land. Why? We know that but for the grace of God it could have been us.
Editor’s note: The non-profit Association for Rescue at Sea (AFRAS) held its annual awards ceremony Oct. 4 in Washington, D.C. The foundation supports services that foster saving lives at sea and honors outstanding acts of rescue. This year’s Gold Medal winner was a Coast Guard rescue swimmer who saved two men on a crippled sailboat in heavy seas. Other honorees (see related story) included a Coast Guard Auxiliary crew that halted a man-overboard drill to rush to the aid of a woman aboard a runaway jonboat and a container ship captain who rescued four sailors on a boat being battered in a gale.
At the ceremony that honored Coast Guard swimmer Randall Rice, AFRAS also awarded a Silver Medal and an AMVER Award. The medal went to a crew of Coast Guard Auxiliarists from North Carolina. The AMVER Award went to a container ship captain and crew who came to the rescue of four sailors off Bermuda.
When a boat sinks offshore, there aren’t many ways to remain safe (or alive) while waiting to be rescued. When the 28-foot fishing boat Kaitlin Rai was swamped by a wave and capsized Sept. 7 off Sitka, Alaska, 19-year-old Ryan Harris had to improvise.
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