Coast Guard Auxiliarists Awarded Auxiliary Medal of Operational Merit

Four U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary members of Flotilla 44 in
Daytona Beach were recently awarded the Auxiliary Medal of Operational Merit,
for a rescue operation on March 25, 2023. They are Steve Wyatt, Dr. Kelly
Murray, Dr. Gary Kessler, and Judith Gettmann.
The Medal of Operational Merit is given to Auxiliarists in recognition of
outstanding skill in performing an assist, rescue, or other meritorious operational
service. This award recognizes outstanding achievement or service of an
operational nature (defined as direct, hands on, underway, surface or airborne
aviation mission activity) worthy of special recognition. The citation reads in
“Citation for meritorious service in the performance of duty as a crew member of
Auxiliary Facility 210404 on March 25, 2023. These Auxiliarists were
instrumental in rescuing 4 people and 2 dogs on the Halifax River near Port
Orange, FL. As the first emergency vessel to arrive on scene, the crew found 1
person treading water, and 3 people clinging to a capsized boat, and 2 dogs.
Demonstrating outstanding operational skill, the crew recovered 3 people and 1
dog. The crew rendered effective first aid. The crew then secured the capsized
boat to prevent it from becoming a hazard to navigation. The crew’s diligence,
perseverance, and devotion to duty, are most heartily commended and are in
keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Coast Guard and the United
States Coast Guard Auxiliary.”

Earlier this month, this rescue was also recognized for Honorable Mention, Silver
Award, by the Association of Rescue At Sea.
The Coast Guard Auxiliary is the uniformed civilian component of the U.S. Coast
Guard and supports the Coast Guard in nearly all mission areas. The Auxiliary
was created by Congress in 1939. For More Information, please visit Flotilla 44 serves all of Flagler and Volusia Counties, Florida.