Helicopter Crew from Coast Guard Air Station Port Angeles to be Recognized for Heroism and Mission Excellence
Stonington, Conn. – The Coast Guard Foundation, a non-profit organization committed to the education and well-being of all Coast Guard members and their families, announced today that its Pacific Northwest Awards in Seattle will take place on Thursday September 19, 2019 at the Bell Harbor International Conference Center in Seattle, Washington. At the event, the Foundation will recognize helicopter aircrew CGNR 6596 and Coast Guard Foundation Life Trustee and long-time supporter Bart Eaton. Keynote speakers will include Admiral Karl Shultz, commandant United States Coast Guard. Additional remarks will be made by Admiral Charles Ray, vice commandant; Vice Admiral Linda Fagan, Pacific Area commander; and Rear Admiral David Throop, District 13 commander.
At this year’s event, the Coast Guard Foundation will recognize the heroism and professionalism of helicopter crew of CGNR 6596 for events that occurred in the evening hours of July 4, 2018. The crew of CGNR 6596 – LT Jacob Marks, LT Caleb Wadsworth, AMT3 Ryan Taylor and AST3 Richard Nestler – were dispatched after local emergency medical services reported a 62-year old hiker had fallen down a 100-foot cliff. Paramedics performed over 20 minutes of CPR before the helicopter arrived. Under total darkness, aided by night vision goggles, the crew brought their helicopter to a hover over the survivor’s position which was surrounded by 200-foot tall trees that limited the hoisting area. Rescue Swimmer AST3 Richard Nestler was lowered to the scene. The extent of the patient’s injuries had left her unable to breathe on her own and continuous manual breathing was required. AST3 Nestler recommended a litter augmented double pick-up. This rarely used and never trained maneuver near the maximum capabilities of the aircraft would allow Nestler and the survivor strapped to a rescue litter to be hoisted simultaneously. To make this maneuver possible, the crew jettisoned fuel and all unnecessary equipment to improve the helicopter’s flight characteristics. During the hoist, Nestler held an oxygen tank in one hand while manually breathing for the patient with the other. The crew of CGNR 6596 exemplified the highest traditions of the United States Coast Guard through their heroic efforts involving precise aircraft movements, selfless bravery and seamless coordination with local EMS, and ultimately saved the life of the hiker.
“The brave men and women of the Coast Guard are trained for completing sometimes seemingly impossible missions,” said Susan Ludwig, president, Coast Guard Foundation. “These individuals exemplify a selfless professionalism that allows them to not only perform in the harshest of conditions, but sometimes to go beyond their training and improvise for the safety of those they are sworn to protect. By honoring the crew of CGNR 6596 we are trying to honor every member of the Branch.”
In the last two years, The Coast Guard Foundation has supported more than 22 morale, wellness and community projects in the Pacific Northwest, including a playground for Coast Guard families stationed in remote Neah Bay, Washington and fitness and recreation gear for the nation’s last remaining polar ice breaker, POLAR STAR. During the unprecedented government shutdown in late 2018 through early 2019, the Coast Guard Foundation provided $20,000 in morale support to Coast Guard members stationed in Washington and Oregon. In addition, in the last two years, the organization’s scholarship program has awarded scholarships to 27 students from the Pacific Northwest.
The Coast Guard Foundation’s Pacific Northwest Awards in Seattle will be held on Thursday, September 19, 2019 at the Bell Harbor International Conference Center, 2211 Alaskan Way, Seattle, Washington. A cocktail reception will begin at 5 p.m. with dinner and program following at 6:30 p.m.
To learn more about the Coast Guard Foundation or to help support its work, please visit www.coastguardfoundation.org.
About The Coast Guard Foundation
Since 1969, the Coast Guard Foundation has honored heroes, empowered families and supported those who protect our Nation as members of the United States Coast Guard. The Foundation provides college scholarships to enlisted members, their spouses and their children, scholarships and support for families of Coast Guard members lost in the line of duty, and support for morale programs, including funding recreation, exercise and family-oriented facilities. The Coast Guard Foundation is headquartered in Stonington, Connecticut, where it maintains a staff of 17, with regional offices in Boston, Massachusetts, Washington DC, St. Petersburg, Florida and San Francisco, California. To learn more about the Coast Guard Foundation or to help support its work, please visit coastguardfoundation.org.
WHO: The Coast Guard Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to the education, welfare and morale of all Coast Guard members and their families
WHAT: Pacific Northwest Awards Dinner
WHEN: Cocktail reception 5 p.m., Dinner and Program 6:30 p.m. –Thursday, September 19, 2019
WHERE: Bell Harbor International Conference Center, 2211 Alaskan Way, Seattle, WA.