Awards & Trophies

The Arthur B. Hanson Rescue Medal

The Arthur B. Hanson Rescue Medal is an award given to skippers of pleasure boats or race support vessels who effect rescues of victims from the water. The award is made for rescues in U.S. waters, or those which occur in races originating or terminating in a U.S. port. The purposes of the award are to recognize the significant accomplishment in seamanship which has saved a life, and to collect further case studies in rescues for analysis for the US Sailing Safety-at-Sea Committee which will eventually be incorporated into the extensive educational programs of US Sailing.

The Hanson Rescue Medal is normally awarded to racing sailors, cruising sailors, race management personnel or amateur powerboat operators, although other persons may qualify. Professional rescue personnel (policemen, firemen, Naval and Coast Guard personnel, salvage boat operators, etc.) may be eligible to receive the award, if they participated in a rescue effort while in an off-duty capacity; or if their rescue effort went above and beyond their normal call of duty; or if the rescue involved an exceptional achievement of seamanship.

The rescue or attempted rescue must take place within territorial waters of the United States, or the rescue or attempted rescue must have taken place as part of a sailboat race or voyage that originated or stopped in a United States port. At least one person involved must be a citizen of the United States and one vessel or aircraft involved must be owned or operated by a citizen of the United States.

Award Criteria

When considering an award, the Committee shall take into account the following factors:

  • The prevailing weather and sea conditions at the time of the rescue.
  • The types of vessels involved.
  • The proximity to shoals, headlands, shipping traffic, and other hazards.
  • The number of, experience and/or qualifications of the victim(s).
  • The specific details of the rescue process.
  • The rescuer’s intrepidity or risk of his or her own life.
  • The involvement of other parties in the rescue effort, directly or indirectly.
  • The proximity to the scene of professional rescue services.
  • The role or function of the rescuer at the time of the incident.
  • The rescuer’s professional training or experience.

Guidelines to Nominate

Nominate a Skipper for an Arthur B. Hanson Rescue Medal

Hanson Rescue Awards History


Previous Award Recipients

2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 No Information Available 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2000 1999 1998 1997 1996 1995 1994 1993 1992 1991 1990 1989