The newest recipients of US Sailing’s Arthur B. Hanson Rescue Medal are Captain Martinus van Breems (founder and President of Sound Sailing Center in Norwalk, CT), Captain Wim Jessup (a Sound Sailing instructor who is also the Executive Director of the Landfall Marine Training Center in Stamford, CT), and crew/students Fred Moy, Brad Freeman, Michael McCormick and Peter Kelly. The medals were presented on behalf of US Sailing by Storm Trysail Foundation Chairman Rich du Moulin at the Hands-On Safety-at-Sea Seminar at SUNY Maritime College in Throggs Neck, NY on Saturday, May 18.
During an Advanced Coastal Cruising Class from Norwalk to Portland, ME on the Hanse 400 Disco Volante on July 26, 2017, the sailors spotted an overturned 24-foot powerboat and 12 people in the water near the southwestern entrance to the Cape Cod Canal on Buzzards Bay. Winds over 18 knots blowing against the current had created a steep chop that caused the boat to founder. Capt. Jessup immediately called the Coast Guard while Capt. Van Breems had the crew lower their sails and come alongside the victims. They pulled nine people – eight children and one mother – out of the water before local authorities arrived to assist the others. Commercial diver Michael Margulis retrieved an 8-year-old boy who was trapped under the boat. Unfortunately, the boy did not survive.
The Arthur B. Hanson Rescue Medal is awarded to any person who rescues or endeavors to rescue any other person from drowning, shipwreck, or other perils at sea within the territorial waters of the United States, or as part of a sailboat race or voyage that originated or stopped in the U.S. The medal was established in 1990 by friends of the late Mr. Hanson, an ocean racing sailor from the Chesapeake Bay, with the purpose of recognizing significant accomplishments in seamanship and collecting case studies of rescues for analysis by the Safety at Sea Committee of US Sailing for use in educational and training programs. ■