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Skipper given a medal for capsize rescue

US Sailing's Safety-at-Sea Committee awarded an Arthur B. Hanson Rescue Medal to the crew of a powerboat that assisted in a rescue off the coast of New Jersey.

After sunset on Oct. 18, 2008, the 72-foot powerboat Coastal Queen, an old Chesapeake Bay wooden buyboat converted into a cruising yacht, was running at 9 knots in steep sea with a 32-foot powerboat in tow several miles southeast of Sandy Hook, N.J. Skipper Deacon Nelson said he heard a faint cry for help and with a searchlight he spotted a man in the water.

The victim had been in the water for more than an hour after his 19-foot fishing boat capsized. He kept himself afloat with his airway just clear of the water by holding a Thermos, a large bottle and a piece of his stern ladder that had broken off.

"The keys to rescue was staying calm and being able to make secure a connection with the victim," said Nelson.

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