A fishing crew was recently given the Carnegie Medal for rescuing a sinking boat from a winter storm.
Two years ago, a fishing crew of four men from Washington and Oregon rescued five men from a sinking boat near Kodiak Island during a violent winter storm.
Last week, the crew received the Carnegie Medal for their heroic efforts.
The Heritage, a 67-foot fishing boat, had an engine failure and sank during a powerful winter storm on Jan. 25, 2012. Severe winds, sub-zero temperatures, falling snow and 25-foot seas plagued the crew as they radioed for help. Steven W. Stark, captain of the Heritage, was able to get his crew onto a raft about four miles from Alitak Bay.
The distress signal was heard by Captain Gregory D. Plancich, who immediately navigated his 101-foot Trident Seafoods fish tender, Tuxedni, out of Lazy Bay to find the sunken ship. After traveling four miles in one hour, the Tuxendi crew got close enough to see a signal from the raft. The Heritage crew was brought to safety with the aid of a Coast Guard helicopter.
Plancich and his crew were among the 19 people honored for their heroism and for risking their lives “to an extraordinary degree while saving or attempting to save the lives of others,” according to a Carnegie Hero Fund Commission press release.
According to reports, during the ceremony, Palncich said, “What we did was minor compared to what [the Coast Guard] do. My crew did all the work. I’m the bus driver. They’re the real heroes.”
A total of 84 people were honored with the Carnegie Medal in 2014, a distinction that comes with a financial grant.