Fergus Falls native receives life saving medal from Coast Guard [UPDATED]Published 9:27am Wednesday, October 5, 2011 Updated 11:27am Wednesday, October 5, 2011
POULSBO, Wash. — The Coast Guard presented the Silver Life Saving Medal to Petty Officer 1st Class Juston L. Heacox, Friday, Sept. 23, 2011, for his heroic effort, which saved two lives off of Point No Point State Park in Hansville, Wash., July 26, 2010.
Heacox, a Fergus Falls, native and Coast Guard active duty member with 15-years of service, was on the beach when he and another man heard screams coming from two boys who were caught in a rip current approximately 250 yards from shore.
The two men waded out into the 52-degree water toward the boys. They provided instruction for them to swim toward shore at an angle in an effort to draw them closer.
While struggling to keep their footing in the strong current, Heacox was able to reach the boys with a rope, which the two had carried from shore.
Upon return to shore, Heacox, a 1995 graduate from Fergus Falls Senior High School, treated the boys for hypothermia and exhaustion.
Despite his own hypothermic conditions, he remained on scene and ensured the boy’s conditions were properly treated.
The Silver Lifesaving Medal is awarded by the Commandant of the Coast Guard to any person who rescues, or endeavors to rescue, any other person from drowning, shipwreck, or other peril of water.
The rescue or attempted rescue must either take place in waters within the United States or subject to its jurisdiction, or one of the parties must be a citizen of the United States or be from a vessel or aircraft owned or operated by citizens of the United States. Since 1874, approximately 1,900 Silver Lifesaving Medals have been awarded.
For additional information contact the District 13 Public Affairs officer at 206-220-7237.