Golden Ray Rescuers Receive Medals for Successful Response

PO2 Nathan Newberg receives an Air Medal from Rear Adm. Eric Jones, Coast Guard 7th District commander, for his role in the Golden Ray response (USCG)

Published Feb 21, 2020 11:31 PM by The Maritime Executive

Coast Guard Air Station Savannah crew members were recognized Friday for their response during the Golden Ray rescue. Rear Adm. Eric Jones, Coast Guard Seventh District commander presented Air Medals to Lt. Robert Mineo and Lt. Jeb Slick, both helicopter pilots, and to PO1 Eric Young and PO1 Nathan Newberg, both aviation survival technicians.

Jones also presented Coast Guard Commendation Medals to aviation maintenance technician PO2 Jared Blitz and avionics electrical technician PO Joseph Kelly.

The six coastguardsmen awarded Friday played an essential role in the rescue of the crew of the ro/ro Golden Ray. On September 8, 2019, Coast Guard Air Station Savannah aircrews responded to the vessel, which had partially capsized in Brunswick, Georgia with 24 people aboard. Before daybreak, they hoisted five survivors to safety, including the ship’s captain, and they helped lower the pilot to a Coast Guard Station Brunswick small boat waiting below. After daybreak, with four crewmembers still trapped inside the Golden Ray, aircrews conducted multiple sorties, delivering rescue personnel and critical tools to the vessel by using its starboard side as a landing pad. Thanks to their efforts, all 24 people aboard the Golden Ray were rescued.

Salvage response efforts for the Golden Ray continue. The salvage team, led by newly-appointed lead operator T&T Salvage, hopes to cut the wreck into eight large sections and remove it piece by piece. 

The Golden Ray, Feb. 19 (USCG)