US Sailing Awards Hanson Rescue Medals to Crew on Light O Mobile and Larry Goolsby
PORTSMOUTH, RI (August 24, 2015) – The US Sailing Safety at Sea Committee will award the Arthur B. Hanson Rescue Medals to a sailboat’s crew and to a skipper of another capsized sailboat for their heroic efforts displayed during a boat collision, sinking and rescue at the 2015 Fairhope Yacht Club Dauphin Island Race in Mobile Bay, Ala. The award ceremony and dinner will take place at the Rome Sailing Club in Leesburg, Ala. on August 29, 2015 at 5:30 pm.
On April 25, 2015 a storm moved through Mobile Bay with near hurricane force winds. A storm of this strength had not been predicted and it wreaked havoc among the fleet. Eight boats sank during the storm, 40 people required rescue, and tragically, six lives were lost.
Team 4G, a Catalina 22, owned and skippered by Larry Goolsby, was making their way to the finish line of the Dauphin Island Regatta when they were overtaken by the oncoming storm. The first blast of wind broached their boat, but they managed to get it on its feet. While trying to recover from a second broach, a larger 40-foot sailboat slammed into them driving over the top of Team 4G and pushing the rig down and underneath the water. Team 4G began to sink.
Crew members Rob Eaves and Tony Cellamare jumped clear just prior to impact. Skipper Larry Goolsby remained onboard, grabbed the port lifelines of the larger boat and managed to climb aboard. With his fellow crew calling for help, and the distance separating them quickly, Goolsby jumped back into the water with a life ring to help his fellow crewmates Eaves and Cellamare and called for them to swim towards one another. Team 4G had sunk below the surface.
All three sailors now clung to the single life ring, as the only flotation they had. The 40-foot sailboat sailed away, did not offer any additional assistance, did not make radio calls for help, and has not been identified since.
A 39-foot O’Day sailboat named, Light O Mobile, and skippered by Ed Cornell spotted the crew of Team 4G in the water who were waving frantically. With the storm still in force Ed Cornell directed his crew and boat while fighting strong winds and rough seas. One of their sails was shredded during the rescue, but they managed to get close enough to bring Goolsby, Cellamare, and Eaves safely aboard.
One Arthur B. Hanson Rescue Medal is awarded to Goolsby for selflessly going to the rescue of his fellow crew, and a second Arthur B. Rescue Medal is awarded to the rescuing crew on Light O Mobile, including Eddie Cornell, Barre Dumas, Clark Dumas, Pat McPhillips, Robert Rasp, Richard Mather, Paul Toler, and James Dennis.
The Arthur B. Hanson Rescue Medal is awarded to any person who rescues or endeavors to rescue any other person from drowning, shipwreck, or other perils at sea within the territorial waters of the United States, or as part of a sailboat race or voyage that originated or stopped in the U.S. The medal was established in 1990 by friends of the late Mr. Hanson, an ocean-racing sailor from the Chesapeake Bay, with the purpose of recognizing significant accomplishments in seamanship and collecting case studies of rescues for analysis by the Safety at Sea Committee of US Sailing for use in educational and training programs. Any individual or organization may submit a nomination for a Hanson Rescue Medal.
Visit the US Sailing Hanson Rescue Medal website for more information about these awards, including nomination form instructions and guidelines.
US Sailing Media Contact: Jake Fish, email@example.com
UPDATE (September 1, 2015): On Saturday August 29, 2015 over 100 sailors gathered at the Rome Sailing Club in Leesburg, Ala. to honor two recipients of US Sailing’s Arthur B. Hanson Rescue Medal. Barre Dumas received the award on behalf of the skipper and crew of the rescuing boat, Light O Mobile. Goolsby was on hand to receive his rescue medal. Means Davis represented US Sailing and presented the awards to Dumas and Goolsby.
In addition to the Arthur B. Hanson Rescue Medal the crew of Light O Mobile received a plaque and certificates of appreciation from the Catalina 22 National Sailing Association. Goolsby also received the association’s Sandy Kennedy Spirit Award. Ted McGee, representing the Catalina 22 National Sailing Association, presented these two awards. Read the full recap from the award ceremony, provided by the Catalina 22 National Sailing Association.
Pictured from Left to Right: Dennis Slaton – Catalina 22 National Sailing Association; Means Davis – US Sailing Rep; Stephen Zito – Mobile Yacht Club; Larry Goolsby – Recipient; Barry Dumas – Recipient; Ted McGee and Dora McGee – Catalina 22 National Sailing Association; Rich Fox – Catalina 22 National Sailing Association
About US Sailing
The United States Sailing Association (US Sailing), the national governing body for sailing, provides leadership, integrity, and growth for the sport in the United States. Founded in 1897 and headquartered in Portsmouth, Rhode Island, US Sailing is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization. US Sailing offers training and education programs for instructors and race officials, supports a wide range of sailing organizations and communities, issues offshore rating certificates, and provides administration and oversight of competitive sailing across the country, including National Championships and the US Sailing Team Sperry. For more information, please visit www.ussailing.org.