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US SAIL RESCUE MEDAL

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The Officers, Directors and Members of
US SAILING
are pleased to present the
ARTHUR B. HANSON RESCUE MEDAL
to the crew of
APRÈS SKI
for the rescue as follows:

On September 17, 2003 at the "Wet Wednesday" race at the Tahoe Windjammers Yacht Club on Lake Tahoe, the 65-degree air was blowing 25 knots, with three to four foot seas. Free Flight, a Moore 24 took a spinnaker knock down broach to weather, when skipper Pat Mitchell fell overboard into the 60-degree water without a PFD. Free Flight’s crew hailed, "Man overboard," and threw a life jacket towards the victim.

Skipper Lynn Wright, Mike Robinson, and Michelle Langlois on board another Moore 24, Après Ski, heard the hail and started beating upwind. Langlois continuously pointed at the victim, while Robinson dropped the jib for better control in the conditions. As they approached they heard the victim say, "Better hurry" as the effects of hypothermia were beginning. Après Ski sailed into a position to weather of the victim and deployed a Lifesling which the victim pulled over his head, under his arms and secured. The crew of Après Ski pulled the victim to the transom of their boat when the victim placed his foot in the boat drain for support and the crew pulled him aboard after the victim had been in the water for nearly 20 minutes. Next they took the victim below and covered him with a sail for warmth and took him to shore. The crew of Free Flight were able to return safely to shore to meet up with their skipper.

Congratulations to Lynn Wright, Mike Robinson and Michelle Langlois of Après Ski for coming to the aid of fellow mariner in distress, tending to his immediate medical needs and saving the victim. US SAILING is pleased to present the Arthur B. Hanson Rescue Medal in recognition of this event.

Ronald C. Trossbach
Chairman, Safety at Sea Committee
By Direction

The medal was presented to Lynn Wright, Mike Robinson, and Michelle Langlois on Wednesday December 10, 2003 at the Tahoe Windjammers Yacht Club annual Christmas and Trophy award party held at the Harvey's hotel/casino Top of the Wheel meeting room, in Lake Tahoe.  It was presented by Tahoe Windjammers Yacht Club past Commodore Vic Beelik on behalf of US SAILING.  Photo (left to right) TWYC Commodore Vic Beelik and Lynn Wright.  Photo by Elizabeth Beelik.

 

Nominators Name: Victor Beelik
Event Name: Wet Wednesday
Sponsoring Yacht Club: Lake Tahoe Windjammers
Date of Event: 9/17/03
Event City: South Lake Tahoe
Event State: CA
Date of Incident: 9/17/03
Body of Water: Lake Tahoe
First Victims Name: Pat Mitchell
First Boat Name: Free Flight
First Boat Length: 24
First Boat Make Model: Moore 24
Rescuing Skipper: Lynn Wright
Rescuing Crews Names: Lynn Wright Skipper-Owner, Mike Robinson crew, Michelle Langlois , Lookout
Rescuing Boat Make Model: Moore 24
Rescuing Boat Name: Apres Ski
Rescuing Boat Length: 24
What was the nature of this incident: Man Overboard
Did a Mayday call go out: No
Was any injury sustained by the victim: No
Can your story be published: Y
Was a PFD worn: N
What position was the victim working before they went in: Skipper (helm?)
Was this day or night: Day
Wind speed: 25+
Wave height: 3 to 4 ft
Water temperature: 60
Air temperature: 65
How much time did the victim spend in the water: 15-25 minutes
What recovery method was used: Quickstop
Did the victims boat lose site of the victim: most likely
Was a rescue swimmer put in the water: N
Did the victim have a strobe light or whistle: No
What color clothes were visible above the water: not known
Was the victim able to help in the recovery: Y
Was a Lifesling aboard: Y
Was it used: Y
Was the race sailed under ISAF regulations: N
What happened:
Winds 25 knot, Sea 3 to 4 ft
Victim's boat took a spinnaker knock down to weather broached.

Crew was unable to get the boat under control skipper fell overboard.

Crew yelled man overboard and threw a life jacket in the water.

Rescue vessel with jib and main heard the hail executed a quick stop maneuver and headed toward the distressed vessel under sail.  With the wind and seas, it took quite some time to work back upwind.

The spotted the victim's head and never lost sight of him.

Upon approach they heard him say better hurry! They maneuvered the rescue boat to weather of the victim and were able to put a life sling over the victim who was not wearing a life jacket. They were able to help the victim over the stern into the cockpit and helped him down below where they covered him wit a sail.

Any injury (hypothermia included): Beginning stage

How did victim help himself back onboard: He was able to put his foot in a boat drain and help the rescuer to pull him aboard

How did the victim get hoisted onto the deck: With the help of a LIFE SLING