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Matson crew honored for rescue during hurricane

  • U.S. COAST GUARD DISTRICT 14 HAW
    Rear Adm. Cari Thomas, Fourteenth Coast Guard District commander, shakes hands with Capt. John Bloomingdale, 3rd Mate Justin Moore and 2nd Engineer Josef Eggert of the motor vessel Manukai after presenting a Meritorious Public Service award at the Matson terminal on Sand Island in Honolulu, Nov. 24, 2014. The crew was presented the award for the rescue of the three men from the 42-foot sailboat Walkabout caught in Hurricane Julio 414 miles northeast of Oahu, Aug. 10, 2014. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Tara Molle)
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The Coast Guard honored the captain and two crew members of the Matson container ship Manukai for rescuing three men aboard a 42-foot sailboat that was caught in Hurricane Julio in August.

Coast Guard Rear Adm. Cari Thomas, commander of the 14th Coast Guard District,  presented the Coast Guard Meritorious Public Service medal to the captain of the Manukai John Bloomingdale, 3rd Mate Justin Moore and 2nd Engineer Josef Eggert Monday.

The Matson ship rescued Ben Nealy, Lee Nealy and Mike Vanway Aug. 10 after the 42-foot sailboat Walkabout was dismasted and flooded during Hurricane Julio, about 414 miles northeast of Oahu while enroute from Stockton, Calif. to Honolulu.

After hours of coordination between the sailing vessel and the Coast Guard, the container ship crew successfully shot a line to the sailboat and pulled the boat and crew alongside the Manukai.

The passengers climbed a 30-foot ladder draped over the side of Manukai’s hull. 

The Coast Guard Meritorious Public Service award is the second highest award presented by the Coast Guard to recognize recipients for unusual courage in advancing a Coast Guard mission, substantial contribution to the Coast Guard that produced tangible results and specific individual accomplishments that provide unique benefits to the public.

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