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US Sailing Honors California Sailors for Rescues

The US Sailing Safety at Sea Committee awarded the prestigious Arthur B. Hanson Rescue Medal to two California crews who performed man-overboard rescues during races in 2020 and 2021.

The committee awards the Arthur B. Hanson Rescue Medal to skippers and/or crews of pleasure boats or race support vessels who rescue victims from the water. The award recognizes the significant accomplishment in seamanship that has saved a life. The committee also uses it to collect case studies in rescues for analysis, which will eventually be incorporated into US Sailing’s extensive educational programs.

Crew of Horizon Recognized in Coastal Cup Regatta Rescue

Len Bose, Peter Heck, Steve Natvig, Chris Vilicich, James Malm, Kenneth Sherb and Taylor Schlub received the medal for their quick response in saving John Shulze, the owner of Horizon, the Santa Cruz 50 on which they were racing. Shulze fell overboard on the evening of May 31, 2021, during the Coastal Cup race from Monterey to Santa Barbara.

Horizon on San Francisco Bay
The SC50 Horizon starts the 2021 California Offshore Race Week. The Coastal Cup is the second leg in the series.
© 2022 Fred Fago

Horizon and a competitor converged on Point Conception. Horizon made the call to jibe back into the breeze to maintain an advantage. The spinnaker clew made it past the headstay but the main had not completed the jibe when a 25-knot puff hit the boat. The mainsail suddenly jibed at the same time the chute filled. Horizon rounded up into the wind violently, throwing John overboard.

The crew quickly got Horizon under control and deployed a Lifesling to facilitate the rescue. After several attempts to maneuver the boat close enough to John, the crew were finally successful in retrieving him after Steve Natvig donned an inherently buoyant lifejacket and swam out to rescue John.

Read the full details of the incident.

Horizon Crew
The crew of Horizon receives their awards. Left to right: Len Bose, Steven Natvig, Jamie Malm, John Shulze, Taylor Schlub, Kenneth Sherb, Chris Vilicich.
© 2022 US Sailing

Crew of Sea Maiden Recognized in Race Your Own Household Rescue

Carolyn Sherman, Sandra Sherman and Brian Fritzges, crew of Sea Maiden, an Ericson 35, made a quick response in saving Mike Dore. Mike fell overboard during the August 29, 2020, Stephanie Jean Navirdes Memorial Race Your Own Household race on northern San Diego Bay.

Sandra and Carolyn Sherman with Bruce Brown
Sandra and Carolyn Sherman with Bruce Brown, of Costa Mesa, from the US Sailing Safety at Sea Committee.
© 2022 US Sailing

Dore, a competitor in the race, was singlehandling his Hunter 28.5 Decoy. He fell overboard when a shackle pin on a lifeline came out while he was putting up the whisker pole.

The skipper of Sea Maiden, Carolyn Sherman, with crew Sandra Sherman and Brian Fritzges, were sailing abeam approximately three to four boatlengths away. Because Mike was sailing alone, not only was he in the water, but his boat was sailing unattended toward Harbor Island. Brian Fritzges dove into the bay to assist Mike. Carolyn and Sandra continued sailing toward Mike’s boat to get it under control.

Sea Maiden was able to overtake Decoy. Sandra jumped onto Mike Dore’s boat and took control of the unmanned vessel. Meanwhile, another competitor, Roy Mumma, sailed past on Bolero and retrieved Mike Dore and Brian Fritzges from the water.

Know of a sailor or boater who facilitated the rescue of another on the water? Nominate them for the Arthur B. Hanson Rescue Medal here.

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It's a Sailors' Life
Moe Roddy is joined by Ashley Perrin to chat about her lessons from racing around the world and sailing the coldest parts of the world. Ashley is a professional racer who has sailed over 130,000 ocean miles and spent 25 years in offshore command.