Long Beach Early Responder Receives Silver Medal

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NEWPORT, Ore. - Rear Adm. Keith A. Taylor, Coast Guard 13th District Commander, presents Chief Boatswain's Mate Beth Slade with the Silver Lifesaving Medal during a ceremony at Coast Guard Station Yaquina Bay, Friday, August 19, 2011. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Nate Littlejohn.

NEWPORT, Ore. — Chief Boatswain’s Mate Beth Slade received the Silver Lifesaving Medal during a ceremony at Coast Guard Station Yaquina Bay, Friday, at 8:30 a.m.

Slade received the medal for her response to an Aug. 7, 2001, rescue.

Then Petty Officer Slade, responding as a volunteer member of the Long Beach, Wash., Fire Dept. and Pacific County, Wash., Technical Rescue Team, was one of the first beach rescue team responders to the capsized fishing vessel Miss Brittany. The vessel was struck by a rogue wave and grounded hull-up in the surf zone off Benson Beach near Ilwaco, Wash. {{more}}

She and fellow rescue team member, Douglas Knutzen, donned wetsuits and made their way through heavy surf to the capsized vessel. Upon reaching the vessel, they heard the cries of the vessel’s captain who was trapped within the boat. Knutzen returned to shore to retrieve a chainsaw, and the two responders used the chainsaw to cut through the fiberglass hull. They eventually freed the man and transported him to shore, where he was treated by emergency medical personnel.

Knutzen will receive his medal during a ceremony scheduled in conjunction with his availability.

The Silver Lifesaving Medal is awarded by the Commandant of the Coast Guard to any person who rescues, or endeavors to rescue, any other person from drowning, shipwreck, or other peril of water. The rescue or attempted rescue must either take place in waters within the United States or subject to its jurisdiction, or one of the parties must be a citizen of the United States or be from a vessel or aircraft owned or operated by citizens of the United States. Since 1874, approximately 1,900 Silver Lifesaving Medals have been awarded.