BoatUS captains honored for heroism   

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — BoatUS Towing Services honored 12 of its  TowBoatUS and Vessel Assist captains with its annual BoatUS Woody Pollack  Lifesaving Award. The awards were presented at the group’s annual conference.

“When the normal routine of dropping  off gas or providing a tow back to the launch ramp is interrupted by a life-threatening may day call on the radio, our captains stepped in, said  BoatUS Vice President of Towing Services Jerry Cardarelli. “They are not in the rescue business, but without hesitation they went out to save fellow boaters.  We are very proud of their heroic actions.”

Those recognized are:

Capt. Clayton Tieman of TowBoatUS Tampa Bay, Tarpon Springs, Fla., responded to a report of a boat on fire and safely removed the crew of two, just as the boat’s decks began to burn their feet and live ammunition stored below began to explode.

Capt. Daniel McAndrew of TowBoatUS Detroit Lake, Lake St.  Clair, Mich., was the first to arrive on scene at a tragic collision between two boats and successfully pulled eight people — some critically injured — aboard his boat and rushed them to shore.

Capt. Kevin Freestone of TowBoatUS, Big Pine Key, Fla, was nominated for two life-saving actions. The first was for locating, providing urgent aid and emergency transport of a kayaker gravely wounded by a barracuda. The second incident involved assisting a 65-year-old man with severe injuries, as a result of running ashore.

Capt. John Aydelotte of Vessel Assist, Anacortes, Wash., successfully retrieved an out-of-gas pleasure boat with a family of four aboard under extreme weather and sea conditions.

Capt. Zach Willis of TowBoatUS, Beaufort, N.C., pulled three anglers from the Beaufort Inlet after a wave capsized their small fishing  boat and plunged them in the turbulent water.   

Capt. Paul Amaral of Vessel Assist, Ventura, Calif., assisted two sailing vessels disabled and  adrift in treacherous seas.   

Capt. Augustine Malfavon of Vessel Assist, San Diego, Calif., retrieved an unconscious man from the water, who then was revived onboard a San Diego Harbor Patrol boat.

Capt. Lee Sykes of TowBoatUS, Beaufort, N.C., performed  CPR on a man in cardiac arrest aboard a commercial vessel and kept the  crewman’s airway open until the Coast Guard arrived on scene, and continued CPR  while being transported to shore.

Capt. R.W. Henson of TowBoatUS, Falmouth, Mass., responded to a heart attack patient and provided first aid, coordinated rescue efforts, and transported the victim to shore.   

Capt. Tim Simpson of TowBoatUS, Swansboro, N.C., responded to a capsized vessel at the Bogue Inlet where he found five individuals, including an 8-year old child, clinging to the overturned 19-foot skiff.  All were safely rescued.   

Capt. Mike Procek of TowBoatUS. Falmouth, Mass., was able to save a man who was swept away from his anchored boat and not wearing a life jacket.

Capt. Jason Davis of Vessel Assist, Ventura, Calif., provided an emergency communications relay between a bystander reporting a kayaker in distress off Santa Cruz Island and the local Coast Guard station.

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