A Coast Guardsman was being honored as a hero Monday for his efforts in saving a woman from drowning in Oregon’s Columbia River in September.
Petty Officer 2nd Class Leon Doniphan, a cook aboard the cutter Alert , had just finished his shift on Sept. 10 and was heading to the pier when he noticed some commotion on the river's edge.
It turned out, a young girl about 11- or 12-years-old, who had been swimming around the pilings under the dock and got caught in the river's current.
Moments later, it was apparent she was about to be carried under a 40-foot navigation buoy that had been retired and chained to the shore.
"I have courage, but I don’t feel like a hero," Doniphan said. "I’m a regular guy, a cook. I was in the right place at the right time."