Jetstream Crew Gets Arthur B. Hanson Rescue Medal

The crew of Jetstream was named as recipient of the US SAILING Arthur B. Hanson Rescue Medal in early January. It was to be presented by US SAILING past president James P. Muldoon at the Baltimore Museum of Industry.

Scott Livingston, Kelly Pittlekow, Steve LeGendre, and Michael Erdek, the crew of Jetstream, will receive the award for rescuing a mariner in distress, calling in outside assistance to have a second mariner rescued, and the safe rescue of a sinking boat, and clearing the waterway of a hazard, according to Ralph Naranjo, chairman of the US SAILING Safety at Sea Committee.

On May 20, 2001, Scott Livingston, assistant director of Baltimore’s Downtown Sailing Center, was embarking on teaching rescue drills with an adult class in eight J/22s in Baltimore Harbor. In the fresh 15- to 20-knot winds, one-foot seas, 60-degree air and water temperature, Scott and his crew were tailing the fleet on Jetstream when a 19-foot water-ski boat came up from behind, its passengers frantically crying that they were sinking. Practice was now reality.

Scott ordered the jib dropped and a fender placed over the side, and then eased the main to a luff to slow the boat. Upon completion, the crew waved the ski-boat to come alongside. With a father and an eight-year-old daughter on board the ski-boat, they came alongside. The father threw his daughter into the water, shouting for her to swim to Jetstream. Jetstream was still moving, and distance quickly increased between the PFD-clad daughter and Jetstream.

Scott performed a Quick-Stop, then a Figure-8, and approached the panic-stricken girl. Two of Scott’s crew lifted the girl over the stern quarter in less than a minute from when she hit the water. As there were mild signs of hypothermia were setting in, the crew dressed the girl in dry clothing.

The ski-boat still needed assistance. Livingston called 911 on his cell phone, and the emergency Marine Police and Fire Department’s Rescue team responded in under 7 minutes. The Marine Police towed the boat to safety, while the Fire Department picked up the little girl and reunited her with her father.

The US SAILING Arthur B. Hanson Rescue Medal is given to skippers of pleasure boats or race support vessels who affect rescues of victims from the water. The award is made for rescues in U.S. waters, or in races that originate or terminate in a U.S. port. The Rescue Medal has been in existence for 12 years and is administered by US SAILING’s Safety-at-Sea Committee (SASC). More information about the Arthur B. Hanson Rescue Medal can be found at www.ussailing.org/safety/Rescues/hansonstories.htm.

The Rescue Medal recognizes acts of exemplary seamanship, and the award process is also used by the SASC as a way to gain more education about rescues at sea. The data and stories of award nominees are studied carefully for the common practices that contribute to, or deter from, the success of a rescue operation.

Born December 8, 1916, Arthur B. "Tim" Hanson started sailing as a child at his family’s home on the Chesapeake Bay. He continued the sport during his years at Cornell University and the College of William and Mary. In 1963, Hanson purchased Figaro III, a 47.5-foot Sparkman and Stephens yawl, and renamed it Foolscap. He sailed every Newport-Bermuda Race from 1964 - 1982, and four transatlantic races including Bermuda to Travemunde, Germany; Bermuda to Vigo, Spain; Newport to Cork, Ireland; and Bermuda to Khristiansand, Norway. He also raced many Annapolis-Newport and Marblehead-Halifax races and Block Island Race Weeks. In the early 1970s, Hanson tested the first Electronic Positioning Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB) on a private yacht during a transatlantic race.

The United States Sailing Association is the national governing body for the sport of sailing, the mission of which is to encourage participation and excellence in sailing and racing in the United States. The organization achieves its goals through member organizations and volunteers, located throughout the United States, who are supported by an administrative staff located at the organization’s headquarters in Portsmouth, Rhode Island.

For more information about US SAILING, visit their website at www.ussailing.org or call (401) 683-0800.