News // May 3, 2019

2019 San Francisco Awards Dinner Announced

  • Jennifer Crowley Fyke
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The Coast Guard Foundation’s San Francisco Awards Dinner will be held on May 14, 2019 at the St. Francis Yacht Club and recognize the Santa Barbara mudslide response team for its heroism and mission excellence.

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A crew member looks down on homes and streets of a neighborhood affected by the Santa Barbara County mudslides in Santa Barbara, California are shown, Jan. 9, 2018, from the perspective of a Coast Guard MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew involved in rescuing injured and stranded victims. Coast Guard helicopters were dispatched from Los Angeles-Long Beach and San Diego to assist local first responders with rescue efforts. Photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class DaVonte Marrow

On January 9, 2018 the Santa Barbara County Fire Department requested the Coast Guard’s assistance for a mass rescue operation in response to 50 separate calls for multiple affected areas. With local aviation agencies initially unable to render assistance due to poor weather, the Coast Guard responded in the predawn hours with an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter from Forward Operating Base Point Mugu and an MH-60 Seahawk helicopter from Sector San Diego. Meanwhile, Sector Los Angeles – Long Beach Command Center coordinated an interagency mass rescue effort, and managed an immediate barrage of inquiries from local and national media. Deployed to the Santa Barbara Incident Command Post, the Coast Guard’s air liaison officer coordinated with ground units and seven helicopters from multiple agencies to optimize tasking for the limited resources.

With heavy rain, low ceilings and poor visibility dominating the mountainous area, the first Coast Guard helicopter arrived on-scene and immediately conducted a medical evacuation of two victims suffering from severe burns they received from a mudslide induced explosion. Crews also conducted a rooftop rescue of two survivors, medically evacuated a trapped dialysis patient and spouse, and performed an air evacuation of a group of displaced survivors from the Romero Canyon area. Operating in the highly-devastated Montecito area, Coast Guard helicopter crews also rescued a family of five trapped inside their home’s attic. As a result of the team’s valiant contributions, the Coast Guard saved the lives of nine survivors, assisted 29 people displaced from their homes and rescued 15 pets.

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Homes and streets of a neighborhood affected by the Santa Barbara County mudslides in Santa Barbara, California are shown, Jan. 9, 2018, from the perspective of a Coast Guard MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew involved in rescuing injured and stranded victims. Coast Guard helicopters were dispatched from Los Angeles-Long Beach and San Diego to assist local first responders with rescue efforts. (U.S. Coast Guard photo)

“The brave men and women of the United States Coast Guard are constantly demonstrating their selfless dedication to their challenging mission,” said Susan Ludwig, president, Coast Guard Foundation. “The professionalism displayed by all members of the Santa Barbara County Mudslide Rescue Team are in keeping with the highest tradition of the United States Coast Guard.”

Rear Admiral Peter Gautier, Commander, 11th District and Admiral Karl Schultz, Commandant of the United States Coast Guard will be keynote speakers.

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