COMMUNITY HERO AWARDS PRESENTED MAY 24th
TO TWO LOCAL TEENS WHO PROVIDED LIFESAVING ASSISTANCE
U.S. Coast Guard Promotes Wearing Life Jackets and Scheduling a Free Vessel Safety Check
Islamorada greatly appreciates the fast action and courage shown by three men during a boating emergency in April. For their quick action and lifesaving efforts, Mayor Chris Sante presented Community Hero Awards on May 24th.
Pictured: Will Coffin, Mason Baker and Mayor Chris Sante
On April 7, 2018, Mason Baker, Will Coffin and Will’s uncle David Tolhurst were near Conch Reef on a Saturday afternoon fishing trip. The wind had picked up and the sea conditions had worsened when they saw a boat taking on water and suddenly sinking before the captain of the vessel could call for help. The 23-foot boat quickly capsized.
There were four adults and a four-year-old child on the ship’s hull. One of the women had a three-and-a-half-month-old baby on a chest strap.
Before approaching the boat in trouble, Mason, Will and David radioed the Coast Guard for help. After arriving at the boat, they took the mother and her two children aboard their boat.
The crew from Coast Guard from Station Islamorada arrived at the accident site and took the mother, the pilot of the boat and the children aboard the Coast Guard cutter to awaiting medics at Tavernier Creek Marina. Mr. Tolhurst picked up items from the overturned boat that were floating nearby and took the other couple to the marina.
Mayor Chris Sante presented Community Hero Awards to Mason Baker and Will Coffin at the May 24th Village Council Meeting. David Tolhurst was visiting Islamorada from his home in Canada when the incident occurred in April. Mr. Tolhurst was also acknowledged during the presentation.
Executive Petty Officer Jonathan Harrington from U.S. Coast Guard Station Islamorada was also in attendance and further praised the three men for their quick actions that helped to save the lives of the two families. Executive Petty Officer Harrington stressed the importance of wearing life jackets and encouraged everyone to take advantage of the Coast Guard Auxiliary’s free vessel safety check program.