Coast Guard Air Station Savannah crew members were recognized Friday for their response during the Golden Ray rescue.
Rear Adm. Eric Jones, Coast Guard 7th District commander, and Master Chief Petty Officer Devin Spencer, 7th District command master chief, presented Air Medals to Lt. Robert Mineo and Lt. Jeb Slick, both helicopter pilots, and to Petty Officer 1st Class Eric Young and Petty Officer 1st Class Nathan Newberg, both aviation survival technicians.
Jones and Spencer also presented Coast Guard Commendation Medals to Petty Officer 2nd Class Jared Blitz, an aviation maintenance technician, and Petty Officer Joseph Kelly, an avionics electrical technician.
Mineo, Slick, Young, and Newberg, Blitz, and Kelly were instrumental in rescuing crew members from the motor vessel Golden Ray, a 656-foot vehicle carrier that capsized in Brunswick, Georgia with 24 people aboard.
On September 8th, 2019, Coast Guard Air Station Savannah aircrews responded to the Golden Ray, one of the most significant cases of Air Station Savannah’s history. Before daybreak, they hoisted five survivors to safety, including the ship’s Captain and skillfully managed the safe repel of the pilot boat captain to a Coast Guard Station Brunswick small boat waiting below. After daybreak, with four crewmembers trapped still inside, aircrews conducted multiple sorties, delivering rescue personnel and critical tools to the disabled vessel by using its starboard side as a landing pad until the remaining 4 missing crew members were rescued.
All 24 people aboard the Golden Ray were rescued.