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Coast Guard Awards Village Teacher Silver Lifesaving Medal


September 11, 2003
Thursday - 1:00 pm

Rear Admiral James Underwood, commander of the Seventeenth Coast Guard District, presented a Silver Lifesaving Medal to a teacher in the village of Napaskiak, about 10 miles south of Bethel, Tuesday for his daring rescue of a 3-year-old boy from the Kuskokwim River last year.

Michael Husa was cited for his heroic rescue of Bernard Williams, despite imminent personal danger, June 24, 2002. Husa, a schoolteacher in Napaskiak, was working on his boat when two boys ran to him and began tugging at his pant leg and pointing to a sweatshirt floating down the river. Husa launched a nearby skiff to retrieve the sweatshirt. As he approached the shirt he realized that there was a small child's head bobbing above the water. He sped toward the little boy and began shouting for help from another vessel that was downstream. Husa then selflessly plunged into the 50-degree water, grabbed the boy and swam to shore.

Husa's cries for help brought Stephan Maxie and Larry Evan to the scene. Maxie beached his boat, yelled for another bystander to call the EMS and then began CPR on the boy. Maxie continued CPR on Williams for several minutes before he became dizzy. He then called upon Evan to continue the lifesaving efforts. Evan's next few rescue breaths proved crucial. Williams began coughing and spat up water. Evan held the boy in an attempt to warm him as the village health aides arrived.

Williams was rushed to the village health clinic where his core body temperature was recorded as 93.7 degrees Fahrenheit. Williams was transferred to a hospital in Anchorage where he fully recovered from his ordeal.

Maxie was present with a Coast Guard Meritorious Public Service Award for his critical role in saving the little boy's life. Evan received a Coast Guard Public Service Commendation for although he had minimal training in CPR his performance was crucial to saving the boy.



Source of News Release:

United States Coast Guard
Web Site


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