Please select your home edition
Edition
Zhik Dinghy Wetsuits

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

Related Articles

Shape of next Volvo Ocean Race revealed at Southern Spars - Part 1
Southern Spars has been confirmed as the supplier of spars for the 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race. In mid-April, Race Director, Jack Lloyd and Stopover Manager Richard Mason outlined the changes expected for the 40,000nm Race during a tour of Southern Spars 10,000sq metre specialist spar construction facility. A total of up to seven boats is expected to enter, but time is running out for the construction of any new boats.
Posted today at 5:56 am
Sailing in the Olympics beyond 2016 - A double Olympic medalist's view
Bruce Kendall takes a look at what he believes Sailing needs to do to survive beyond the 2016 Olympics. Gold and Bronze medalist and multiple world boardsailing/windsurfer champion, Bruce Kendall takes a look at what he believes Sailing needs to do to survive beyond the 2016 Olympics. A key driver is the signalled intention by the International Olympic Committee to select a basket of events that will be contested.
Posted on 29 Apr
From Olympic flag to Olympic Gold and maybe another
The Sydney Olympics was a Sailing double 470 Gold event for Australia. Having won the 420 World Championship in 2000, the feeder class to the 470, while still at school in Australia young Matt Belcher was given the honour of carrying the Olympic flag during the closing ceremony of the Sydney 2000 Olympics.
Posted on 28 Apr
The Road to Rio now 99 days short
The Road to Rio 2016 still has a few curves, bumps and potholes for teams battling to win. The Road to Rio 2016 still has a few curves, bumps and potholes for teams battling to win in Hyeres, at some World championship events and Weymouth World Cup but for many crews: 'It's 106 miles to Chicago we got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it's dark and we're wearing sunglasses.' Whoops wrong movie.
Posted on 28 Apr
America's Cup - Oracle Racing win in Court but with collateral damage
Oracle Racing have had another claim against them by a former crew member dismissed. Oracle Racing have had another claim against them by a former crew member dismissed. Mitchell focussed largely on the circumstances of the matter and introduced into the public arena some interesting documents to support his claims.
Posted on 23 Apr
An interview with Jake Beattie about the 2016 Race to Alaska
In 2014, Jake Beattie and a few friends envisioned the Race to Alaska. Now, it’s time this wild race’s second edition. In 2014, Jake Beattie-the executive director of the Northwest Maritime Center in Port Townsend, Washington, and a few friends hatched the bold idea of a human-powered race to Ketchikan, Alaska, took flight. They decided that their human-powered race would start in Port Townsend, Washington and run to Ketchikan, by way of the inside passage between Vancouver Island and British Columbia.
Posted on 14 Apr
Children of the Internet, Rio and Hong Kong
I have four daughters, the youngest, who in her mid 20's is a true child of the Internet. I have four daughters, the youngest, who in her mid 20's is a true child of the Internet. The kind of conversations I have with her run along these lines.... In the olden days we did not have television until I left school and they had a thing called print magazines, that reported events between two weeks and four months after they happened. And her sceptical response... Hoh! Daddy, Hoh!
Posted on 14 Apr
Go fast girls - 49er FX sailors Paris Henken and Helena Scutt
Paris Henken and Helena Scutt will be representing the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics, which will be their first Olympiad. American’s Paris Henken (20) and Helena Scutt (23) recently won a berth to represent the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics in the high-performance 49er FX skiff, a goal that the team has been working on for almost three years. While this is their first Games, writing them off as Olympic newbies would require ignoring their recent results and their strong teamwork.
Posted on 13 Apr
World Sailing Cup V3 - A Dead Rat in a Shoe or Spring Daffodils?
While a host of major sailing events go from strength to strength, the Sailing World Cup has very major issues. Last night my Irish better half was sitting beside me on the sofa watching an Australian version of the popular TV Cooking Program My Kitchen Rules on a tablet with her headphones while I was watching Diehard II for the seventeenth time (it’s a boy thing) on TV. She suddenly spluttered and laughed, took off her headphones and motioned for me to mute Diehard. (Seriously!!)
Posted on 9 Apr
Volvo Ocean Race appoints stadium racing pioneer as new CEO
Sail-World forecast the appointment of Mark Turner as Volvo Ocean Race CEO a month ago. We profiled Turner at that time. Sail-World forecast the appointment of Mark Turner as Volvo Ocean Race CEO a month ago. We profiled Turner at that time. Today his appointment has been confirmed.
Posted on 31 Mar
Bakewell-White Yacht DesignBarz Optics - San Juan Worlds Best EyewearNorth Technology - Southern Spars