Nantucket’s history is filled with stories of heroic lifesaving efforts made by ordinary citizens and those who went above and beyond the call of duty. Honoring that tradition, Egan Maritime Institute and Nantucket Cottage Hospital recognize the following modern-day lifesavers at an annual Lifesavers Recognition Day on Monday, September 11 from 5 to 7 pm at the Nantucket Shipwreck & Lifesaving Museum, 158 Polpis Road.
Two people who were instrumental in a dramatic rescue at Cisco Beach on September 4 have been added to the slate of honorees at this year’s Lifesavers Recognition Day. Local surfer Wynter Larrabee saw a man in apparent distress, entered the water, and brought him to shore, where Nantucketer Era Kever administered life-saving measures of CPR and chest compressions.
Dr. Faith Frable will receive the Maurice E. Gibbs Commendation Award. Earlier this summer, Frable was driving home on Polpis Road with one of her children in the car when she encountered a man who fell off his bicycle, likely due to a medical event. She quickly started CPR and called 911. All involved agreed that If it weren’t for Dr. Frable’s rapid response and heroic measures, this incident would have had a different outcome.
Nantucket Lifeguards David Tearse, Austin Pronovost, and Anthony Bellabona, as well as Capt. Frank Hanlon, FF David Angelastro, FF Corey Ray, and FF Raymond McClure will all also receive the Maurice E. Gibbs Commendation Award for rescuing a one-year-old this summer. The child went into anaphylactic shock due to an unknown allergy on August 3, while at Surfside Beach with her family. When her mother noticed her face and lips were swollen, she went to the lifeguards for help. “Because of the lifeguards’ quick action as well as the help of the EMTs, our daughter was able to get the treatment she needed for this unfortunate reaction that could have been fatal. We are incredibly grateful to the lifeguards and EMTS for helping save our daughter. We are also so thankful for their calm presence and ability to help manage all our fears, including helping calm and reassure our two older children who were with us,” shares Erin Washburn.
USCG Station Brant Point, Nantucket Harbormaster’s Office & Lifeguards, and the Nantucket Police Department will receive the Maurice E. Gibbs Commendation Award for their valiant efforts and heroic teamwork while searching for a missing fisherman who went overboard south of Nantucket on August 13. Nantucket’s first responders worked well into the night and throughout the day on Sunday, August 14, to locate a lost fisherman. While the active search was suspended after 24 hours, Nantucket’s crews went above and beyond the call of duty.
The public is invited to celebrate the island legacy of selfless heroism and the people who step forth when others are in need at the ceremony on September 11.
Three more talks are scheduled for the Fall Series held in the museum. On September 13 at 5 pm, Homer Ray, Commander, USCG Auxillary, Nantucket & other members of the local Auxiliary will speak about the role of the Coast Guard Auxiliary in the safety and security of citizens, ports, waterways, and coastal regions. Dr. Edward Schultz will give a slide and narrative presentation about 50 years of diving in Bermuda waters at 5 pm on September 28. And on October 5, Lighthouse Keeper Rob Benchley will give a narrative presentation of historical and contemporary photographs of Sankaty Lighthouse.
The Shipwreck and Lifesaving Museum is open until October 9, 2023, Monday through Saturday from 10 am to 5 pm. The 2023 featured exhibit is Rum Runners & Rum Chasers: Nantucket, Prohibition, and The U.S. Coast Guard. The exhibition highlights the multiple missions of the U.S. Coast Guard, including its role in enforcing prohibition, whose restrictions on alcohol consumption were largely ignored by Nantucketers.