POSTED: 7:12 a.m. HST, Jul 2, 2014
LAST UPDATED: 12:47 p.m. HST, Jul 2, 2014
PITTSBURGH >> A California man who rescued a woman from a shark attack on Maui is being honored for his heroism with a medal from the Carnegie Hero Fund Commission.
Richard Irvin Moore, 57, of Laguna Nigel, Calif., is among 22 people to be honored on Wednesday with medals and cash awards. Carnegie officials said Moore rescued a woman from a shark attack in August.
A woman from Germany lost her arm in the attack on Aug. 16 off Palauea Beach in Makena. She died from her injuries about a week after the attack.
In an interview the day after rescuing the woman, Moore, a physical education teacher at an Irvine, Calif. high school, said he heard a scream and put on his flippers and swam to the woman.
""It dawned on me: I was in danger now," he said. "The shark is around me and she's bleeding."
The woman was starting to lose consciousness, Moore said.
"I started crying out to God, and I got this burst of strength," said Moore, who is also a pastor. "I swam toward the shore."
The other 21 winners were from Alberta, Arkansas, British Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Ohio, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, Ontario, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Tennessee and Texas. Four of them died while trying to save people from burning, drowning or assault.
The Carnegie Hero awards are named for Pittsburgh industrialist and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie, who was inspired by stories of heroism during a coal mine disaster that killed 181 people, including a miner and an engineer who died trying to rescue others.
The commission investigates stories of heroism and awards medals and cash grants several times a year. It has given away more than $36 million to nearly 10,000 awardees or their families since its inception in 1904.