The Golden Life Jacket Award is presented to “local heroes” in communities across the U.S. who provide guidance to youth on boating safety issues on a volunteer basis, and/or have made a positive difference in their community by promoting boating safety and life jacket use – one of the Sea Tow Foundation’s core missions. Each year, Sea Tow franchisees may nominate candidates from their community whom they feel are worthy of receiving the Golden Life Jacket Award from the Sea Tow Foundation and a local franchise.
Baker has worked in Nags Head and Kitty Hawk, N.C., as a firefighter, EMT and lifeguard. He appears in numerous public safety videos for the local government channel, in-house hotel channel and the Town of Wrightsville Beach website promoting rip current and beach safety tips for the visitors to the area. Baker also has been a mentor for many local students working on school projects on ocean safety. He has been instrumental in aiding the development of ocean rescue personnel who have pursued their careers in the armed services, firefighting and ocean rescue, furthering their ability to protect the community.
“Dave Baker personifies the commitment and dedication of those who strive to make the waterways and beaches better for generations to come,” said Holli Willis of Sea Tow Wrightsville Beach. “There is nothing more beautiful than North Carolina beaches and waterways. It is with this in mind that we have to continue to educate each and every person on boating and water safety.”
Baker holds certifications as a Fire Fighter I and II, Emergency Medical Technician (EMT), United States Lifesaving Association instructor and American Heart Association instructor. He has served as a water safety instructor for the U.S. Secret Service and U.S. Coast Guard helicopter rescue swimmers. In addition, he has provided water safety for multiple film productions including Iron Man 3. He consults for various organizations providing water safety for their events, and has served as an expert witness in drowning cases. Baker has been chairman for the Rip Current Awareness Strategy team, a multi-level approach for education to prevent deaths from rip currents.