1300 Rescued, Nearly 150 Feared Lost, 97 Missing – You Can Help!

Migrants onboard a drifting overcrowded wooden boat react during a rescue operation by the Spanish NGO Proactiva Open Arms, north of the Libyan city of Sabratha in central Mediterranean Sea, March 29, 2017. REUTERS/Yannis Behrakis

Volunteer rescue services are working hard in the area every day to prevent loss of life. AFRAS can help US taxpayers make donations to the brave volunteers working in the Mediterranean and around the world to save lives. To Help Donate Here.

Here are three recent stories of success and tragedy.

More than 1300 migrants rescued in one day

Nearly 150 migrants feared dead after boat sinks, sole survivor says

97 Migrants Reported Missing After Boat Sinks Off Libya

 

 

Bodies of 74 Migrants Wash Ashore in Libya

Photo: Intl Red Cross, Red Crescent Middle East & North Africa

Editor’s note:  AFRAS supports volunteer maritime rescue services trying to prevent such tragedies. We raise and donate funds, and help US taxpayers make tax-deductible donations, to support such efforts.
NBCnews.com by >DON MELVIN

February 21, 2017

The sea continued to claim the lives of migrants desperate for better lives, with 74 bodies washing ashore in Libya.

Mohammed al-Misrati, a spokesman for the Libyan Red Crescent, told The Associated Press on Tuesday that the human remains would be taken to a cemetery for unidentified people in Tripoli.

International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies posted photographs on its Twitter account of dozens of corpses in body bags, lined up along the shore.

Migrant deaths have risen to record levels on the Libya-to-Italy smuggling route across the Mediterranean Sea. They generally attempt the crossing in flimsy inflatable craft loaded with small amounts of fuel which are intended to get them only as far as European rescue vessels stationed in international waters.

Libyan coast guard spokesman Ayoub Gassim said more than 500 migrants were rescued at sea on Friday and Saturday. The migrants’ boats were 5-7 miles from the coast of Libya.

Gassim said the coast guard is seeing the smugglers use larger rubber boats in order to pile more migrants into the weak vessels — some taking on as many as 180 people.

“This is going to be even more disastrous to the migrants,” Gassim added.

Last year a record 181,000 migrants crossed between Libya and Italy. More than 4,500 are known to have died.

Read More

Tanzania Sea Rescue & Video – AFRAS in Action

Tanzania Sea Rescue is one of the world’s newest volunteer maritime rescue and safety organizations. Less than a year old, it has already:

  • Acquired a rescue boat and recruited over 30 volunteers
  • Had its first rescue
  • Partnered with the Red Cross on water safety programs
  • Had two training team visits, one from the UK’s RNLI and one from France’s SNSM
  • Been featured on the TV News Program “Africa Live” See video below

AFRAS is proud to be a financial supporter for Tanzania Sea Rescue.

Information on how you can make a US tax-deductible in-kind or monetary donation to Tanzania Sea Rescue via AFRAS is available here.

Board of Directors Approves New AFRAS Logo

AFRAS Logo
The traditional AFRAS logo.

The Association for Rescue at Sea’s original logo was based on the mission statement of AFRAS when it was formed in 1976 – to assist the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) with raising funds here in the U.S.  The logo was designed in 1977.

The mission of AFRAS has changed over time.  While we still help the RNLI, we now do so much more.  We honor heroism in our maritime community with awards such as our Gold and Silver medals, the AMVER award and our newest – the Cruise Ship Humanitarian Assistance Award, to be presented by AFRAS and the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA).

AFRAS Logo - Approved by the Board of Directors Oct 2016
AFRAS Logo – Approved by the Board of Directors Oct 2016

Our new logo represents that mission, as well as our other major mission – assisting not only voluntary Coast Guards in raising money, providing expert advice and training, but assisting in supporting missions such as search and rescue for the mass migration crisis in the Mediterranean and Aegean seas.

The logo represents a person requesting assistance, who is in distress in the water, and someone providing that assistance.

This is the Association for Rescue at Sea.

New Member Elected to AFRAS Board of Directors

AFRAS LogoA new member was elected the Association for Rescue at Sea’s Board of Directors during the charity’s annual meeting in Washington D.C. Sep. 21.

Cmdr. Donald E. Jaccard (USCG Ret.), of Chesapeake City, Md., joins fellow maritime and search and rescue professionals who work with association officers to manage and direct the non-profit’s operations. Jaccard is a 28-year veteran of the U.S. Coast Guard, in which he served various ashore and afloat assignments, including a tour at the Joint Rescue Coordination Center in Honolulu and as commanding officer of three cutters. He is currently the Director for Program Management and System Engineering at McMurdo, Inc.

McMurdo is a global leader in emergency readiness and response, including search and rescue and maritime domain awareness solutions. Hundreds of customers around the world—in aviation, fishing, government, marine and military—have trusted McMurdo to prevent emergencies, protect assets and save more than 40,000 lives since 1982. McMurdo currently has a contract to provide Personal Locator Beacons to the U.S. Coast Guard and recently delivered its 1,000th unit to the rescue service.

AFRAS helps protect mariners from the perils of the sea by providing monetary and in-kind donations to world volunteer maritime search and rescue organizations. The charity also recognizes and honors extraordinary maritime rescues through an awards program and annual ceremony. AFRAS is a 501(c)3 non-profit charity. Visit afras.org to learn more about the organization, or make a charitable donation.

AFRAS ELECTS NEW BOARD MEMBER

A new member was elected the Association for Rescue at Sea’s Board of Directors during the charity’s annual meeting in Washington D.C. Sep. 21.

Cmdr. Donald E. Jaccard (USCG Ret.), of Chesapeake City, Md., joins fellow maritime and search and rescue professionals who work with association officers to manage and direct the non-profit’s operations. Jaccard is a 28-year veteran of the U.S. Coast Guard, in which he served various ashore and afloat assignments, including a tour at the Joint Rescue Coordination Center in Honolulu and as commanding officer of three cutters. He is currently the Director for Program Management and System Engineering at McMurdo, Inc.

McMurdo is a global leader in emergency readiness and response, including search and rescue and maritime domain awareness solutions. Hundreds of customers around the world—in aviation, fishing, government, marine and military—have trusted McMurdo to prevent emergencies, protect assets and save more than 40,000 lives since 1982. McMurdo currently has a contract to provide Personal Locator Beacons to the U.S. Coast Guard and recently delivered its 1,000th unit to the rescue service.

AFRAS helps protect mariners from the perils of the sea by providing monetary and in-kind donations to world volunteer maritime search and rescue organizations. The charity also recognizes and honors extraordinary maritime rescues through an awards program and annual ceremony. AFRAS is a 501(c)3 non-profit charity. Visit afras.org to learn more about the organization, or make a charitable donation.

Silver Award Winner presented to Coast Guard Auxiliary

Silver Award Winner presented to
Coast Guard Auxiliary
at their National Convention in Phoenix, AZ
August 27, 2016

 

Presentation of Silver Award Winner to USCG Auxiliary at their National Convention in Phoenix, AZ August 27th, 2016
(L-R: CAPT F. Thomas Boross, USCG, Chief Director of Auxiliary, Mr. Patrick Porter, USCG Auxiliary, Silver Award Winner, Mr. Wayne Spivak, VP – Association for Rescue at Sea, ADM Paul F. Zukunft, USCG Commandant, COMO Mark Simoni, USCG National Commodore)

 

ALCOAST 2814/16 Aug 02 2016

R 021545 AUG 16
FM COMDT COGARD WASHINGTON DC//CG-5RI//
TO ALCOAST
UNCLAS //N16100//
ALCOAST 284/16
COMDTNOTE 16100
SUBJ: 2015 ASSOCIATION FOR RESCUE AT SEA (AFRAS) AWARD RECIPIENTS
A. COMDT COGARD WASHINGTON DC 021345Z MAR 16/ALCOAST 081/16
1. IAW Ref (a), this ALCOAST announces award of the 2015 AFRAS Gold and Silver medals.
The AFRAS Gold Medal is awarded annually to a Coast Guard enlisted member who
exhibited exceptional courage and heroism during a rescue at sea. The Silver Medal is
awarded annually to a deserving Coast Guard Auxiliarist for a heroic rescue either
inland or in coastal waters.
2. The AFRAS Gold Medal has been awarded to Aviation Survival Technician First Class
Benjamin A. Cournia, Air Station Clearwater, Florida. The AFRAS Silver Medal has been
awarded to Coast Guard Auxiliarist Patrick Porter, District Eleven Southern Region.
3. Petty Officer Cournia is recognized for his heroic achievement while serving as
rescue swimmer on Coast Guard Helicopters CG-6027 and CG-6009, on 01 October 2015.
A. While deployed to the Coast Guard Forward Operating Base in Great Inagua,
Bahamas, CG-6027 responded to a distress call from M/V MINOUCHE, a 212-foot freighter
that was rapidly taking on water 60 miles west of Haiti. CG-6027 launched into extremely
poor visibility and winds exceeding 50 knots from Hurricane Joaquin, a category four
storm whose eye was less than 90 miles from the stricken vessel.
B. As M/V MINOUCHE foundered, the 12 crew members were forced to abandon ship into
a small life raft. Once on-scene, Petty Officer Cournia was lowered into tumultuous
15-foot seas and battled his way to the raft. After instructing the frightened crew on
the impending rescue process, he took the first survivor and signaled for the rescue
basket. By the time the first survivor was being hoisted, the raft had been blown nearly
100 yards away, visible only when it crested waves. Again and again, Petty Officer
Cournia bravely fought his way through the dark churning seas to the raft. One survivor
panicked as he entered the water, grabbing Petty Officer Cournia around the head and
neck, dangerously forcing him underwater. Remaining calm, Petty Officer Cournia
conducted a front head-hold release and expertly placed the survivor in a cross-chest
carry, safely bringing him to the rescue basket.
C. After rescuing eight survivors over two hours, Petty Officer Cournia was hoisted
into the cabin as the aircraft returned to base for fuel. An hour later, Petty Officer
Cournia again deployed into the turbulent seas, rescuing the ninth survivor before the
flight mechanic found damage to the hoist cable, forcing the crew to return to Great
Inagua and transfer to CG-6009.
D. On the third and final trip, Petty Officer Cournia rescued the final three
survivors. The heroic actions and skill of Petty Officer Cournia were instrumental in
the saving of 12 lives. His courage, judgment, and devotion to duty are most heartily
commended and are in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Coast Guard.
4. U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliarist Porter is cited for outstanding, meritorious achievement
and operational skill in performance of duty on 8 August 2015, while serving as a member
of the 2015 Bullhead City River Regatta patrol team.
A. While conducting a ten-hour patrol that ensured the safety of over 35,000 event
participants tube-floating a six-mile stretch of the Colorado River, the largest annual
Sector San Diego marine event, Auxiliarist Porter demonstrated outstanding operational
performance that prevented critical injury or death of two event participants.
B. During his patrol, Auxiliarist Porter observed a participant swimming against the
current without a personal floatation device. After noticing the person go under the
water three times due to fatigue, he navigated his personal water craft to the person’s
location, grabbed his clothing, and pulled him aboard. Auxiliarist Porter skillfully and
quickly navigated through the heavy congestion of participants while ensuring the
individual remained onboard to be successfully transported ashore for medical attention.
C. Later that day Auxiliarist Porter displayed expert situational awareness when he
noticed a person in the middle of a large group of over 70 participants unconscious and
foaming at the mouth. Executing careful and precise navigation, Auxiliarist Porter
retrieved the person, transited to a safe location, and transferred him to another boat
with medical personnel onboard.
D. As patrol team member and vessel operator, Auxiliarist Porter demonstrated expert
proficiency during an extremely challenging mission. His actions were essential to the
overall safety of event participants and prevention of further injuries or fatalities to
two individuals. His perseverance, dedication and devotion to duty are most heartily
commended and are in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Coast Guard.
5. Although there were several inspirational nominations, selection for the AFRAS Gold and
Silver Medals is limited to one awardee per medal. Nonetheless, all of the AFRAS award
nominees exhibited great courage and brought credit to the service. Their performance
honors our profession and life-saving heritage. Other award nominees include:
A. AST2 Daniel Harrity, Coast Guard Sector North Bend, Oregon.
B. AST2 Robert Granger, Coast Guard Air Station Miami, Florida.
C. AST2 Phillip Walker, Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point Kapolei, Hawaii.
D. AST2 Jason Yelvington, Coast Guard Air Station Sitka, Alaska.
E. Auxiliarists Bryan Teague, Mace Coleman, and Lynn Disque, Auxiliary Flotilla
054-23-03, West Annapolis, Maryland, and Ian Lickers, Auxiliary Flotilla 054-06-07,
Williamsburg, Virginia.
F. Auxiliarists John Fewer, Paul Deafenbaugh, and Anthony Wisniewski, Auxiliary
Flotilla 054-23-03, West Annapolis, Maryland.
6. AST1 Cournia and Mr. Porter will be recognized at a ceremony hosted by AFRAS in the
Rayburn Congressional Office Building, Washington, DC, on 21 September 2016.
7. Congratulations to AST1 Cournia, Mr. Porter, and all Active Duty and Auxiliary AFRAS
award nominees for a job well done.
8. Ms. Dana S. Tulis, Director of Incident Management and Preparedness Policy, sends.
9. Internet release authorized.