Hanson Nomination

Guidelines to Nominate


Award and Eligibility Criteria


The Arthur B. Hanson Rescue Medal Program was established in 1990 by friends of the late Mr. Hanson, a highly respected and accomplished ocean-racing sailor from the Chesapeake Bay. The purpose of the Rescue Medal Program is to recognize significant accomplishments in seamanship, and to collect case studies of rescues for analysis by the United States Sailing Association
(US SAILING) Safety-at-Sea Committee for use in US Sailing’s extensive educational and
training programs.


Authority for the Arthur B. Hanson Rescue Medal Program is delegated by the Board of Directors to the Safety-at-Sea Committee. The award itself is presented in the name of the Association.

Eligibility Criteria

The Arthur B. Hanson Rescue Medal is awarded to any person or persons who rescues or endeavors to rescue any other person from drowning, shipwreck, or other perils at sea.

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.

Nomination Procedures

Any individual or organization may submit a nomination.


The award shall consist of a suitably inscribed medal, ribbon and certificate.


March 21, 2001. Updated August 2014 Questions? please contact offshore@ussailing.org