FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
US SAILING Communications Manager
PORTSMOUTH, R.I. (November 17, 2010) - US SAILING’s Safety-at-Sea Committee has awarded an Arthur B. Hanson Rescue Medal to David Knapp of Tampa, Fla. and the 18-foot gaff-rigged catboat Miss America for rescuing a sailor in Tampa Bay.
Miss America was competing in the singlehanded race in the Davis Island Yacht Club’s Old Shoe Regatta on November 27, 2009, when Knapp noticed that another boat’s sail and boom topping lift had became entangled with the steel structure of a range marker that served as a turning mark of the course. Knapp stopped racing and alerted the race committee by VHF marine radio. He stood closely by the other boat and watched the skipper attempting to free his vessel. In the process, the skipper lost his balance and fell overboard. His life jacket slid up around his head as he was struggling to swim. He was forced to hold on to the steel structure.
Although the wind was blowing 16 to 18 knots in 2 to 3-foot seas, Knapp sailed up to the other boat’s transom, held Miss America alongside with one hand, and with the other lowered the boat’s stern ladder. When the other skipper proved to be too exhausted to climb up the ladder, Knapp remained calm and gave the skipper proper instructions. He assisted him up the ladder and into the boat’s cockpit. The race committee soon arrived to assist in freeing the boat and return it and her skipper to shore. The skipper was in the water for approximately eight minutes.
The Arthur B. Hanson Rescue Medal is awarded by US SAILING’s Safety-at-Sea Committee to any person who rescues or endeavors to rescue any other person from drowning, shipwreck, or other perils at sea within the territorial waters of the U.S., or as part of a sailboat race or voyage that originated or stopped in the U.S.
Since it was established in 1990 by friends of the late Mr. Hanson, an ocean-racing sailor from the Chesapeake Bay, the Arthur B. Hanson Rescue Medal has been presented to more than 150 boats. Any individual or organization may submit a nomination for a Hanson Rescue Medal. For more information, including nomination forms, please visit the Hanson Rescue Medal site.
For the most authoritative daylong seminar on safe seamanship, heavy weather tactics, weather forecasting, communications and boat preparation, register for an upcoming US SAILING Safety-at-Sea Seminar. Please visit the US SAILING Safety-at-Sea Seminar site for details on these certification opportunities.
The United States Sailing Association (US SAILING), the national governing body for sailing, provides leadership, integrity, and growth for the sport in the United States. Founded in 1897 and headquartered in Portsmouth, Rhode Island, US SAILING is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization. US SAILING offers training and education programs for instructors and race officials, supports a wide range of sailing organizations and communities, issues offshore rating certificates, and provides administration and oversight of competitive sailing across the country, including National Championships and the US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics. For more information, please visit www.ussailing.org.