AFRAS established this program, in cooperation with C-PORT, to annually recognize a deserving member of C-PORT that has shown exceptional skill and determination to save lives during a rescue incident in the maritime environment.
C-PORT also presented Distinguished Service Awards for Extraordinary Assistance to two other Sea Tow Captains.
Captain Zachary Willis of Sea Tow Crystal Coast (N.C.) was honored for rescuing a man who had jumped from a 65-foot high fixed bridge in Morehead City, N.C. Capt. Willis was able to pull the violent and apparently intoxicated man on board his Sea Tow boat, then establish a rapport with him, and preventing him from causing harm to himself or others until the authorities arrived.
Captain John Derrico of Sea Tow Montauk (N.Y.) responded to a Mayday call from a capsized vessel at Shaqwong Reef with four older men clinging to it in extremely rough conditions generated by Hurricane Joaquin. Deploying his tow line, he was able to safely bring three of the men onboard his Sea Tow boat, but the fourth man could not make it over the gunwhale. Capt. Derrico immediately affixed a boarding ladder to the stern of his vessel and assisted the tired, cold, and frightened man onboard.