December 04, 2013

Captain Honored For Life Saving Efforts

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Sea Tow Shinnecock/Moriches Owner and Captain Les Trafford was honored recently for rescuing a deckhand aboard the Pauline IV, which had capsized this past May off the Shinnecock Inlet.

On May 12, Captain Trafford was notified about a 45-foot trawler, which had capsized on a sandbar with two people aboard. Within 10 minutes, Trafford arrived at the inlet in his 24-food Sea Tow boat.

Traveling through winds blowing steadily from the southwest at 20 knots with higher gusts and short period six to 12-foot waves battering the sandbar, Trafford came upon the capsized Pauline. It was bottom-side up, and surrounded by debris.

As he approached, Trafford searched the east side of the sandbar and with the help of a Suffolk County Police helicopter crew hovering above, located a person clinging to a lobster buoy a mile offshore. After quickly clipping a life ring to his towline, Captain Trafford maneuvered his boat to within 10 feet of the conscious deckhand and pulled him on to his boat. Trafford and the deckhand continued to search for the Pauline's captain, but finished their efforts when relieved by the Coast Guard. Captain Trafford returned the deckhand to shore and delivered him to a waiting ambulance. Sadly, the Pauline captain's body was later recovered.

"Captain Trafford is commended for outstanding performance of duty, going above and beyond to save a life, and bringing great credit to Sea Tow and the marine assistance industry," said Captain and Sea Two Founder and CEO Joe Frohnhoefer.

Trafford was honored by Sea Tow Services International Inc., at the Sea Tow Awards banquet. U.S. Coast Guard Rear Admiral William "Dean" Lee, Deputy for Operations Policy and Capabilities, joined Frohnhoefer and Chief Operating Officer Captain Joseph Frohnhoefer III in presenting the award for Life Saving Efforts to Captain Trafford.

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