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Merchant Marine Academy vessel honored for rescue

US Sailing's safety-at-sea committee awarded an Arthur B. Hanson Rescue Medal to the crew of United States Merchant Marine Academy's sail training vessel Summerwind for a rescue made off the coast of Maine.

A 100-foot Alden schooner built in 1929, Summerwindwas recently restored and donated to the academy in Kings Point, N.Y. With a crew of 16 midshipmen and staff, Summerwind was competing Aug. 8 in the Castine Yacht Club's Castine Classic Yacht Race. As the schooner sailed close-hauled in a thick fog off Islesboro, Maine, another boat crossed Summerwind's bow on the other tack. At just that moment, a sailor fell overboard from the other boat. Several midshipmen spotted the accident and shouted, "Man overboard!"

As the schooner's helmsman altered course to avoid the swimmer, midshipman Tim Higgins secured a life jacket from deck stowage and tossed it to the man in the water. Trained in rescue procedures, the midshipmen lined the rail and pointed at the swimmer as Summerwind's navigator plotted the positions of the boat and the swimmer.

Click here for the full release.

For information, including nomination forms, visit the Hanson Rescue Medal site.

For information on seminars on safe seamanship, heavy weather tactics, weather forecasting, communications and boat preparation, visit the US Sailing safety-at-sea seminar site.