NORFOLK, Va. – Awards for heroic rescues at sea will be bestowed on ship captains and crews and individual maritime professionals at an Association for Rescue at Sea (AFRAS) ceremony on Capitol Hill in Washington D.C., Wednesday, Nov. 16th.

A U.S. Coast Guard member, three U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliarists, a cruise ship captain and crew, the captain and crew of a commercial ship and a joint civilian/U.S. Coast Guard rescue crew comprise the 2022 class of this annual AFRAS event. U.S. Senator Dan Sullivan, of Alaska, will host the event at the U.S. Capitol Visitors Center, where senior maritime leaders will be in attendance, including Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard Adm. Linda L. Fagan, who will make remarks. Senator Sullivan’s committee assignments include Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Oceans, Fisheries, Climate Change and Manufacturing, which has jurisdiction over matters that impact our oceans, coasts and inland waterways including: coastal zone management; marine fisheries; marine mammals; and oceans, weather, and atmospheric activities.

All rescues being recognized occurred during calendar year 2021:

  • U.S. Coast Guard Aviation Survival Technician Second Class Adam J. Via – a helicopter rescue swimmer at Air Station Cape Cod, Mass. – rescued five mariners from a disabled and ablaze trawler 100 miles offshore, in high winds and rough seas. Petty Officer Via will be awarded the Vice Admiral Thomas Sargent III Gold Medal for his rescues.
  • U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary members Robert E. Bohm, William F. Jacobs Jr. and Harvey M. Miller evacuated the crew of a fireworks barge after the large commercial fireworks aboard began igniting and firing without warning in Great South Bay, Long Island, N.Y. Bohm, Jacobs and Miller will receive the AFRAS Silver Medal for their actions.
  • The captain and crew of the Marshall Islands-flagged tanker Aristofaniz rescued 150 migrants in the Mediterranean Sea from a wooden boat that was taking on water 80 miles off the Greek island of Schiza. The Amver Award will be bestowed upon the captain and crew of Aristofaniz for their rescue.
  • The Cruise Ship Humanitarian Assistance Award will be awarded to the captain and crew of the cruise ship Mein Schiff 1, who rescued two mariners from a disabled and adrift sailboat in rough seas in the Atlantic Ocean.
  • AFRAS Special Awards will be presented to the civilian and U.S. Coast Guard crews who rescued two people from the Gulf of Mexico after they were washed from a liftboat that had capsized in heavy weather.

AFRAS helps protect mariners from the perils of the sea by providing monetary and in-kind donations to world volunteer maritime search and rescue organizations. The charity also recognizes and honors extraordinary maritime rescues through its awards program and annual ceremony. AFRAS is a 501(c)3 non-profit charity. Visit AFRAS online to learn more about the organization, or to make a charitable donation.

AFRAS’ 2022 Capitol Hill Gold Medal Ceremony is sponsored by generous contributions from:

Gold Level Sponsor

Silver Level Sponsors

Bronze Level Sponsors

– 30 –