Scouts awarded honors for heroic rescue efforts
Honored for their heroic actions were scouts Nicholas R. Armstrong, left, Scott M. Davison, Erica C. Bingham, Jacqueline S. McCormick, Michael D. Fluegemann and Alan H. Deal.
Jan. 16, 2014 PLYMOUTH EAGLE.
Six members of two Scouting Units chartered by Our Lady of Good Counsel (OLGC) Catholic Church in Plymouth were awarded the Honor Medal for Saving Life by the National Court of Honor, Boy Scouts of America.
The National Court of Honor ceremony took place Dec. 29, immediately following the noon mass at the church and recognized the five youths and one adult for their extraordinary acts of heroism in the rescue of three young adults stranded on a windswept raft in open water in the Bruce Peninsula of Ontario, Canada.
The rescue occurred in July 2012, when members of Boy Scout Troop 781 and Venture Crew 781, on the first day of their high adventure activities exploring limestone caves near the Barrow Bay area of Ontario, Canada. During their lunch break, at a shoreline cabin, the adult host noticed an inflatable raft in impending danger. Three rafters were being swept by high pre- vailing west winds toward the Georgian Bay. The scouts and venturers and an adult leader took to the whitecaps in two canoes and a kayak to aid the rafters. The group attempted to tow the raft back to shore but the strong winds prevented their efforts. The three occupants of the raft were transferred into the canoes and taken to shore. As they left the raft, the wind picked it up “like a kite” witnesses said, and swamped one of the canoes which was still attached in the effort to offload the rafters.
While the raft and one of the canoes were lost in the rescue attempt, the rescue was successful, inevitably involving assistance from the Ontario Provincial Police. The Troop 781 and Venture Crew 781 members involved in the Barrow Bay rescue received the prestigious Boy Scouts of America Honor Medal. This is a medal awarded to youth members or adult leaders who have demonstrated unusual heroism and skill in saving or attempting to save a life at considerable risk to self. Lifesaving awards from the Boy Scouts of America started in 1911 and a rigorous recommendation and evaluation process is followed.
Nicholas R. Armstrong, Scott M. Davison, Erica C. Bingham, Jacqueline S. McCormick, Michael D. Fluegemann, and Alan H. Deal all from the Plymouth-Canton area, were recognized during the ceremony officiated by John Reeser, CEO of the Michigan Crossroads Council, BSA and Fr. John Riccardo, pastor of Our Lady of Good Counsel Catholic Church..
The Scouting Units chartered by Our Lady of Good Counsel Catholic Church have now been awarded a total of eight Lifesaving Awards which may be a precedent for a single chartering organization.
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