Eight from Air Station Kodiak to Recieve Prestigious Award
Monday, 22 March 2010
Eight Alaska-based Coast Guardsmen from Air Station Kodiak will be
awarded the American Helicopter Society's prestigious William J. Kossler
Award at the American Helicopter Society Forum in Phoenix in May for
saving the lives of seven commercial fishermen during two different
rescues in 2009.
Commander Shawn Tripp, Lieutenant. David McCown, flight mechanic Dennis
Dewinter and rescue swimmer Eric Stoecker are being recognized for their
rescue of two men from the fishing vessel American Way, grounded on
Aghiyuk Island on January 4, 2009.
The crew battled 500-foot ceilings, three-mile visibility, driving snow,
and zero degree temperatures to rescue the stranded fishermen. They were
safely hoisted from a narrow strip of beach next to a 300-foot vertical
cliff in steady 58 mph winds.
And in a grounding on Saint Paul Island in March a year ago, Lieutenant
John Bartel, Lieutenant Commander Craig Neubecker, flight mechanic Chad
Redmond, and rescue swimmer Alexis Torres, rescued five crewmembers from
the fishing vessel Mar-Gun.
The men were hoisted in visibility of a half mile, with a 200 foot
ceiling, and blowing snow, as waves rocked the vessel and crashed over
The Captain William J. Kossler Award is given for achievement in
practical application or operation of rotary wing aircraft. This program
was initiated in 1944 and over the years has paid tribute to the leaders
in the vertical flight industry.