Coast Guard Heroes Honored For Their Daring Rescue

The crew from the Air Station Kodiak are recognized for saving the lives of fishermen in January.

On October 11, nearly 1,000 people gathered in a ballroom of New York's Marriott Marquis for the 32nd Annual Salute to the United States Coast Guard, an annual event sponsored by the Coast Guard Foundation.

The evening was a celebration of the USCG and featured performances by the USCG band and glee club as well as recognition of the honorees.

Today Show weatherman Al Roker, former New York mayor David Dinkins, and New York City police commissioner Ray Kelly and Veronica Kelly were on hand to honor Alaska's Air Station Kodiak with the 2012 Coast Guard Foundation Award.

Why?

On the evening of January 24, 2012, the fishing vessels Kimberly and Heritage issued mayday calls after a storm with winds of more than 100 knots hit the Alaskan coast. What followed was 14 hours of rescue attempts by the Air Station Kodiak. With the high winds and freezing temperatures, the rescue took four helicopter crews and three C-130 crews to rescue the 11 crewmembers in distress.

Not all of the team that helped rescue the crews were able to be on hand as weather had prevented a few from getting out of Kodiak. But commanding officer William Diehls spoke of the station’s all-hands response to the emergency and commented by the teams recognizing their limits, the rescue attempts were successful and didn’t put any members of the Coast Guard at risk.

Congratulations to Air Station Kodiak, and thanks for doing what you do.

CHECK OUT THE DRAMATIC RESCUE VIDEO: