Coast Guard Crews to be Honored

Friday, October 06, 2006
Two North Carolina Coast Guard crews will be recognized at the annual Coast Guard Foundation Salute to the Coast Guard awards ceremony in New York. Lt. Cmdr. Donald E. Bader, Lt.j.g. Audie J. Andry, Petty Officer 1st Class Arthur J. Thompson, Jr., and Petty Officer 2nd Class James A. Geramita, of Air Station Elizabeth City, will be recognized at the ceremony.

The commandant of the Coast Guard cited this helicopter crew's heroic actions in a search and rescue mission which resulted in saving three people on the sailing vessel Al Meisan, which was floundering with a broken mast and tangled rigging in 30-40 foot seas and turbulent winds greater than 50 knots. Lt. Charles K. Fluke, Jr., Chief Warrant Officer Morgan B. Dudley, and Chief Warrant Officer Keith M. Stegall, of Sector North Carolina in Fort Macon will also be recognized at the ceremony.

They are cited for heroic actions in recovering a 460-ft. barge laden with 5.5 million gallons of heavy oil in danger of running aground and polluting the North Carolina coast in gale-force winds and high seas. The three arrived on the deck of the barge from a helicopter vertical-insertion line. Once they determined the emergency towing equipment was fouled, they improvised a plan to enable a commercial tug to tow the barge, preventing an environmental disaster. The ceremony will be held at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in Manhattan on Oct. 19.

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