US Sailing Awards Hanson Rescue Medal to the Crew of City Girl
PORTSMOUTH, RI (November 4, 2016) – The US Sailing Safety at Sea Committee will award the Arthur B. Hanson Rescue Medal to the crew of City Girl for their rescue of 11 sailors from fellow competitor WhoDo during the 2016 Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac. The rescuing sailors will be honored with the Hanson Rescue Medal at the Mac Awards Ceremony, hosted by the Chicago Yacht Club (Ill.) on Saturday night, November 5, 2016.
It was Sunday, July 24, 2016 at, roughly, 3pm during the Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac, when WhoDo, a One-Design 48, was sailing in steady 25 knot winds with their A2 spinnaker, with gusts to 30, in four-foot seas with air temperatures around 80 degrees, water temperatures around 70, a mile away from shore.
A puff broached WhoDo, spinning the boat and a loud crashing sound was heard. An order was made to drop the spinnaker, as it was being doused, a crew noticed the rudder sticking out the side of the boat. The skipper realized he had no steering and went below to investigate. With water rushing in, he immediately called Mayday on the radio, told all crew to get on deck and wear lifejackets.
Bilge pumps were activated, and Erik Owen went inside to the back end of the boat to stuff a bunk cushion into the hole where the rudder post used to go through the bottom of the boat. By now, the water was two-feet deep inside the boat and he was concerned the boat could sink at any moment and wisely abandoned this effort.
City Girl, the C&C 30 One-Design, heard the Mayday call, and crew member Tac Boston spotted WhoDo a half-mile away. City Girl took their sails down and motored over quickly. They found the WhoDo crew in their life raft; a line was passed and the raft pulled alongside City Girl. The crew of WhoDo, including Eric Owen, Michael Burns, Sheri Dufresne, Michael Gilburt, Gordon Mackenzie, Helen Mackenzie, Russell Madsen, Connor Mashlan, Kathryn Mitzka, Dan Reddinger, and Neil Weston, were all pulled aboard.
Five other boats stopped racing to stand by and offer assistance, including Heartbreaker, a One-Design 35 (2nd in Section), Triumvirate, Blue Flash (1st in Section), Trippwire, and Evvai. They were all awarded redress for their time off the course
The United States Coast Guard was informed of the recovery and City Girl motored to Leland, Michigan to drop off the WhoDo crew.
For rescuing their fellow mariners in challenging conditions, US Sailing is pleased to award the Arthur B. Hanson Rescue Medal to the crew of City Girl including William Bremer (Chicago, Ill.), Philip Barnard (Kingstown, St. Vincent), Zygmund Beatty (Cole Bay, Sint Maarten), Tac Boston (Sarnia, Ontario, CN), Erik Bremer (Austin, Texas), and John Leadingham (Concord, N.C.).
* Rescue report produced by US Sailing Safety at Sea Committee.
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
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.