ANCHORAGE, Alaska – An Alaskan man received the second highest civilian honor from the US Coast Guard for rescuing a girl from drowning when they were both children more than 20 years ago, according to a report.
George Lambert received a silver medal in rescue at Anchorage on Saturday for rescuing Pamela Smith, the Anchorage Daily News reported Saturday.
The award was presented by Coast Guard Rear Admiral Matthew Bell Jr., who told the story of the rescue at a ceremony attended by Republican Governor Mike Dunleavy.
Lambert and Smith were part of a group swimming on a sandbank near Kotzebue in northwestern Alaska in 1998 at the age of 10. Smith was pulled in the current and Lambert took a lifejacket and swam up to 30 meters towing Smith to safety, Bell said.
"I rushed to the boat and grabbed a jacket, I did not even think about it, I put it on, I jumped into that water, I went to get my friend and I I made it go back to shore, "Lambert said. "And we are here to talk about it today."
Today, Lambert is a commercial fisherman and Smith is an investigative judge.
"He pushed hard just to reach me, and he pushed even harder to get me back," Smith said.
Coast Guard Lt Cmdr. Jonathan Dale led a three-year campaign to honor Lambert after learning his story.
Smith was the first recorded child to be saved in part thanks to Alaska's "Kids Don" Float program, which promotes the use of lifejacket and education at the school. swimming safety.
The program provided the lifejacket used by Lambert. Since then, at least 30 more children have been saved through the program, Bell said.
Information from: Anchorage Daily News, http://www.adn.com