Please select your home edition
Edition
Helm Events 728x90

Hall family to be awarded Hanson Rescue Medal for Golden Gate rescue

by Jake Fish on 28 Jun 2013
.
US Sailing will award a Hanson Rescue Medal to sailors Merle Hall (Walnut Creek, Calif.), his son Eric Hall (Alamo, Calif.) and grandsons Henry and Ethan Hall (Alamo, Calif.) for rescuing a woman on San Francisco Bay who was afloat beneath the Golden Gate Bridge in the early morning of April 17, 2011.

The Halls were sailing out of San Francisco Bay under reefed sails in a chartered 36-foot Beneteau 373 sloop. As they approached the bridge, 14-year-old Ethan saw a splash in the water about 300 yards ahead. Thinking it might be a whale spout, the family sailed in closer as they noticed pedestrians on the bridge approximately 245 feet overhead pointing down to the water. The Halls sailed toward the area until a police boat appeared, racing toward a plume of smoke from a flare near what appeared to be a body. The search had apparently become an obligation to recover this body in the water. As the boat turned toward the victim, the Halls heard sounds from the person floating in the water, who turned out to be a teenage girl.

'We knew we wanted to get hold of the jumper and stabilize her in the water so she wouldn’t drown before the coast guard arrived,' explained Merle. 'Once we got hold of her, we stopped the boat and kept her afloat, but also very still so we didn’t hurt her. This is not your typical man-overboard procedure.'

With Ethan serving as spotter, Merle brought the boat’s Lifesling rescue device on deck and Eric threw a horseshoe life ring in the water, which blew away. After deciding that the Lifesling would not work with a helpless victim, the Halls started the engine, dropped the sails, and motored to the victim. Eric stood on the stern boarding platform and reached out to the victim with a boat hook and pulled her to the boat. They were concerned about causing further damage to the young woman by trying to pull her on board. Merle went below and called the Coast Guard, 15-year-old Henry steered the boat into the wind. While Eric held the girl’s head above water, Ethan held the boathook, keeping the half-drowned, unconscious woman close by but safely away from the turning propeller. When Merle reported that a Coast Guard boat was on the way, Ethan prepared to signal with the boat’s emergency flares.

The Coast Guard boat soon appeared out of a group of several boats looking for the girl at the north end of the bridge. The Coast Guard took the girl on board, and raced to Sausalito, where she was sent to Marin General Hospital. The girl, a 16-year-old from Los Angeles, survived the fall from the Golden Gate Bridge.

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 United States, 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 170 boats. Any individual or organization may submit a nomination for a Hanson Rescue Medal. US Sailing website
Southern Spars - 100Wildwind 2016 660x82PredictWind.com

Related Articles

Mark Light appointed Race Director of Clipper Round the World Race
Mark replaces former Race Director Justin Taylor who decided to stand down after almost a decade with the company. With four years’ experience assisting the race planning, he is now looking forward to stepping up to the lead role, one of the most challenging that exists in global sailing.
Posted on 28 Nov
Predictwind release improved racing and cruising routing function
PredictWind has released a major upgrade to its Routing function, taking a much more graphic and interactive approach PredictWind has released a major upgrade to its Routing function, taking a much more graphic and interactive approach to what has been a black art of weather routing, used to chose the fastest route for racers or most comfortable route for cruisers.
Posted on 28 Nov
Only room for one at the top
The results of RMIT's (Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology) independent testing are in. The results of RMIT's (Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology) independent testing are in. Zhik® is the market leader in waterproof durability with a new standard that replicates the real world sailing environment and conditions. It is an astounding four times more so than the previous leader.
Posted on 28 Nov
Marine Resources job updates
The latest jobs in the marine industry Marine Resources specialises in filling job vacancies within the Leisure Marine Industry. We have a variety of recruitment services to suit all types of marine employer.
Posted on 18 Nov
Zhik Avlare wins 2016 METS DAME Award
Do you know a child or perhaps a dog or a cat that absolutely hates having a bath? Do you know a child or perhaps a dog or a cat that absolutely hates having a bath? Well here are a range of Men’s and Women’s tops that are so hydrophobic the only adjective that describes them is hate.
Posted on 17 Nov
Southern Spars at METS Trade Show, Amsterdam
Southern Spars is attending the METS Trade Show in Amsterdam, the Netherlands again this year. Southern Spars is attending the METS Trade Show in Amsterdam, the Netherlands again this year. On the stand this year we will have founder and director of sales, Mark Hauser, senior designer Steve Wilson, sales managers Dean Harper and Paul MacDonald, general manager Peter Batcheler and other sales and technical staff.
Posted on 14 Nov
Watersports ARFA Goggle from Barz Optics
When on the water and you're in the waves, then sometimes sunglasses alone just don't cut it. When on the water and you're in the waves, then sometimes sunglasses alone just don't cut it. This is where the Arfa sunglass / goggle comes into play - originally developed for surfing, but applicable for a number of watersports including sailing, windsurfing and jet-skiing.
Posted on 10 Nov
Olympian Bora Gulari joins Quantum Racing as helmsman for 2017
With owner-driver Doug steering the boat in Key West, Gulari will serve as strategist and begin training with the team. In January, when Quantum Racing toes up to the starting line at Quantum Key West Race Week, the crew will include Bora Gulari who is joining the team for the 2017 52 Super Series. With owner-driver Doug Devos steering the boat in Key West, Gulari will serve as strategist and begin his training with the team.
Posted on 10 Nov
World Sailing - GAC Pindar sign long term partnership with world body
GAC Pindar have confirmed that they have entered in to partnership with World Sailing. GAC Pindar have signed a memorandum of understanding for a long-term partnership with the international governing body and the anticipated relationship will see GAC Pindar become an Official Partner of World Sailing. The relationship will last until 31 December 2020, with GAC Pindar granted exclusivity in the marine logistics and shipping sector.
Posted on 10 Nov
SAP Sailing Analytics helping Extreme Sailing Series push rim of sport
The Extreme Sailing Series™ isn't just at the forefront of its sport; it is also a leader in developing new technologies The Extreme Sailing Series™ isn't just at the forefront of its sport; it is also a leader in developing new technologies and pushing the boundaries of what's possible on the water.
Posted on 10 Nov