>Coast Guard Auxiliarist Recognized for Saving Lives

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At the Coast Guard Auxiliary Fifth District Southern Banquet held September 25th 2010, Auxiliarist Jim and Amy Thomas, husband and wife, were awarded the Auxiliary Medal of Operational Merit for their life saving actions performed on July 5th 2010. The case, which was described as one of the worst recreational boating accidents ever reported in the Commonwealth of Virginia, involved a 22 foot pleasure craft that crashed bow on into Rappahannock 10, a fixed navigational aid on the Rappahannock river. The boat had 10 people on board, many of them children. The impact of the crash sent many of the occupants into the water. The Thomas’s were one of the first rescue units on scene and their action of bringing EMS personnel from a nearby landing to the scene saved critical time in providing medical treatment, ultimately increasing survival chances of the critically injured. The operator of the vessel is facing state charges for boating under the influence. One person died in the accident, whom was the fiancee to the operator’s brother, and nearly all the occupants were related to the operator.
The photo captures all members involved in the rescue from Station Milford Haven. Auxiliarist Jim and Amy Thomas are in the back row on the left.