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37th Annual Salute to the U.S. Coast Guard Awardees Announced

2017 NYC
October 1, 2017

The Coast Guard Foundation has selected BM1 Walter Kendall of Coast Guard Station Erie and Coast Guard Auxiliarists Robert & Patti Brody of Coast Guard Station Rochester to receive the National Award for Heroism at the 37th Annual Salute to the U.S. Coast Guard in New York City on October 5.

At the event, the Foundation will also acknowledge the response and rescue efforts of the service during the last three weeks of hurricane activity in Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico, and the Caribbean.

BM1 Kendall will be honored for his heroic actions in July of last year when he rescued six people trapped inside a sinking 27-foot boat on Presque Isle Bay, Pennsylvania. Coast Guard Station Erie’s CG-45757 crew responded to the report and immediately evacuated four of the six persons onboard. The remaining two people were trapped inside the cabin as the vessel began to sink.

BM1 Kendall leaped from the bow of the CG-45757 swimming to the nearly submerged vessel and successfully rescuing the first of the trapped individuals. Aware that the other person was still inside the vessel without means of escape, he heroically saved her life by reaching inside the vessel’s starboard side window, bracing against the hull, and pulling her through with all his might with only seconds to spare before the boat sank beneath the waves.

Coast Guard Auxiliarists Robert and Patti Brody of Coast Guard Station Rochester are being awarded for their brave actions on July 4, 2016, in the rescue of a boat crew on Irondequoit Bay. While on patrol, they noticed a 34-foot Sea Ray vessel turn around unexpectedly in front of other traffic with its crew frantically waving their arms and yelling that they had lost all power.

The Auxiliarists notified Coast Guard Station Rochester of the distress and began to tow the disabled vessel to a safe area, but was alerted by the Sea Ray’s crew that white smoke was billowing out from the vessel’s engine compartment. They quickly transferred the three children and four adults from the Sea Ray to the Auxiliarist vessel and radioed to Coast Guard Station Rochester to request emergency assistance from the local fire department and sheriff’s office.

The Auxiliarists safely moored both vessels to the public dock and transferred all passengers to shore. The Brody’s swift and decisive action, proactive communication with Coast Guard Station Rochester and other responding agencies was directly responsible for preventing a maritime collision, mitigating a potential electrical fire, and saving seven lives.

“The men and women of the Coast Guard are on-call 24-hours a day,” said Susan Ludwig, president, Coast Guard Foundation. “The tireless dedication of these individuals and the volunteers of the Coast Guard Auxiliary rarely receives recognition and we are humbled to be able to honor them this evening.”

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