The Sea Promise is a pledge for every Sea Scout to guard against water accidents and to be prepared to render aid to those in need. In the early hours of July 20, 2018, the Sea Fox of Alameda, California kept that promise when they rescued a missing kayaker. Both the United States Coast Guard and the Boy Scouts of America for their heroic actions honored the Sea Scouts, Skipper, and Mates involved in the rescue.
The Boy Scouts of America recognized the Sea Fox crew with the Medal of Merit, one of the National meritorious action awards to recognize a youth member or adult leader who has performed an act of service of a rare or exceptional character that reflects an uncommon degree of concern for the well-being of others.
Three of the Sea Fox adult leaders and Scouts were presented the Medal of Merit at the Western Region Executive Board meeting in Monterey, California. The entire crew was presented with the Medal of Merit at Safety at Sea the following weekend.
The United States Coast Guard recognized the Sea Fox at the 25th Annual Safety at Sea at Coast Guard Sector San Francisco on September 22 with the Coast Guard’s Public Service Commendation Award for their role in the rescue. The Coast Guard produced a video of the presentation that was published as a Facebook video and also covered by multiple local news shows. The Award Citation reads as follows:
I note with pride and am pleased to commend the crew of Sea Scout Sailing Vessel PEGASUS for their performance while supporting Coast Guard search and rescue operations in the early morning of July 20, 2018. While transiting in San Francisco Bay during their Summer Long Cruise, the PEGASUS crew received a Coast Guard broadcast advising mariners in the area to keep a sharp lookout for a missing kayaker. The diligent watch standers correlated the broadcast to a nearby location and joined the search which included three Coast Guard boats and a Coast Guard helicopter. At 2:30 a.m., while approaching West Brother Rock from the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge, the lookout aboard PEGASUS spotted a man in the water amidst pitch-black darkness, clinging to the side of an inflatable kayak. The PEGASUS crew exhibited superb seamanship as they executed a man overboard turn and quickly recovered the survivor, who was seriously weakened and suffering from hypothermia. They discovered that the man had fallen off his kayak without wearing his life jacket, and was unable to re-board his craft. He had drifted in the chilling, 60-degree water for six hours. The crew swiftly administered critical emergency first aid to the survivor while coordinating with the Coast Guard for further medical care. The PEGASUS crew’s unwavering commitment to public service ultimately saved this man’s life and exemplified the Coast Guard motto of “Semper Paratus”. The crew’s dedication, judgment, and commitment to the search and rescue mission are most heartily commended and are in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Coast Guard.
Safety at Sea was the ideal venue for the Coast Guard to honor the Sea Fox. Safety at Sea has provided Sea Scouts with hands-on emergency maritime training since 1993. The first time a Sea Scout launches a flare or uses a fire extinguisher should not be during an actual emergency. The skills the Sea Fox Scouts learned at Safety at Sea, and their regular weekly program, are a reminder of how to keep the Sea Promise.